Enjoying luck of Irish - Cobham’s former London Irish prop Alex Corbisiero is loving life at the top
Cobham rugby ace Alex Corbisiero may have found the sport more by luck than judgement, but he has packed a lot into his career thus far.
The 25-year-old New York City-born England international already has a British & Irish Lions Test try and series win to his name to go with the Six Nations winner’s medal he has in the locker.
Having arrived at KCS Old Boys in Raynes Park as a five-year-old and switched to the junior section at Fairmile Lane in his teens – via a one-year stint at London Scottish – he was always likely to play in the front row.
His exploits for Cobham and Surrey colts caught the attention of Premiership side London Irish and the rest, as they say, is history.
And Corbisiero, who featured for new club Northampton Saints in a 13-6 win at Harlequins last Friday, knows he owes the sport a lot.
“When we moved over from America my dad’s friends recommended we went down to KCS and it just went from there,” he said at the launch of England Rugby’s Kids First initiative at Twickenham on Saturday.
“I was always a big kid. I was the one who was initially stuck at prop. I’m a prop for life.
“As a kid, it was great to come in from a new country, make new friends and find a sport I liked. I loved it.
“The beauty of the sport is that it is a game for everyone. There is a position for all shapes and sizes and levels of skill. I took to it very well.
“I’m grateful to have played for so long and I think I’m quite lucky.”
Former ACS Cobham International School student Corbisiero signed for Saints at the start of the season – ending a 20 year stay in Kingston and Cobham.
And while his achievements with the Lions down under are still fresh, it is all about what is next.
“I haven’t had much time to focus on the Lions. I’ve had a bit of a holiday and have got straight back into it at Saints,” he added.
“You’ve got to impress a new set of lads and coaches. There isn’t time to look at the past and take it in. You are looking forward and getting back in the grind.
“I had my comfort zone in Surrey and Cobham with my family and friends, so it was an adjustment. But the club and the town have been very welcoming.
“I’m enjoying being in a rugby centred town, which is a new experience.”
The RFU unveiled new children’s rugby ambassador Ruckley at the weekend to support changes to the way mini rugby is played by children – aged six to 11-years-old – throughout England.
“The new rules and the idea of Ruckley as an ambassador to kids is a great way to encourage kids to take part in the game at a young age,” added Corbisiero.
“I was lucky I found rugby, but this is a great way to get kids to experience such a great game.”
Weybridge Vandals nine-year-old Harry Hedger, right, got the chance to train at rugby HQ All pictures: Stuart Amos