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Last Updated: Friday, 8 February 2008, 10:25 GMT
Corbisiero hope at England future
Alex Corbisiero
Corbisiero has represented both USA under-19s and England under-20s
New York-born London Irish prop Alex Corbisiero said he is planning to play international rugby for England rather than the USA.

The 19-year-old has been selected in the England under-20s squad to play Italy in Genoa on Saturday.

He told BBC Radio Berkshire his future plans lie with his adopted country.

"I've represented the USA under-19s before I was on the radar of the England set-up, but England is my main focus and where I want to progress."

Corbisiero said it was his New Yorker father who first introduced him to rugby, after hearing about the game from a colleague.

"He's been taking me down to mini-rugby since I was about five. He really didn't know anything about the game at the time, but he's catching on now. He's been watching me for so long."

We have great coaches, great facilities and there's great potential for London Irish

Alex Corbisiero

Despite his Italian-American heritage, he said his family back in the States will be cheering for him.

"They don't really understand rugby - they think it's American football without pads - but they're very proud to support me when I say I play for England.

"There is a lot of heritage there. I'm determined to swap a shirt so I can send it back to my grandfather in New York. I'm sure he'd love it."

He also has not ruled out playing for the USA if things do not work out with England.

"I'd like to think that I'm playing at a level equal or higher to a lot of their top players and doing quite well. I would like to stay with England but that is an option for me."

Corbisiero has yet to appear in London Irish's senior team, but is determined it will not be too long.

Alex Corbisiero
England captain Phil Vickery presented Corbisiero with his cap after the match against Wales.

"Next season I'm hoping, when injuries come, to be in the running to get a few games for the firsts. It's the year after that that I want to break through and start getting into the match 22.

"It's really good to see players like Dan Murphy progressing through the system, as well as the players now with the Saxons.

"We have great coaches, great facilities and there's great potential for London Irish. It paves the way for younger guys like Jon Fisher and me."

A bright future in rugby should lie ahead of Corbisiero, but should it not progress as planned, he may yet follow his father into banking.

"I am studying at the London School of Economics, to try to get a degree or qualification while I'm playing.

"Perhaps when I'm done with rugby I'll move into the financial world, but at the moment rugby's the dream and that's what I want to pursue."

England under-20s take on their Italian counterparts on Saturday, 7 February at 1500 GMT. Jon Fisher, also of London Irish, is included in the squad.


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