Six Nations 2013: Smith questions fitness of England prop Corbisiero

Gloucester and England prop Alex Corbisiero is a doubt for the Six Nations campaign due to a persistent knee problem

Alex Corbisiero
Alex Corbisiero started every game for England in last year's Six Nations Photo: The Sport Review

Alex Corbisiero

Alex Corbisiero’s chances of keeping his starting jersey for the upcoming Six Nations have taken a hit after London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith revealed the extent of the prop’s knee problems.

Corbisiero, who started every game for England in last year’s Six Nations as well as the win against the All Blacks this autumn, was forced to sit out the Exiles’ clash with Gloucester this weekend.

Initially scheduled to start, the American-born loosehead was forced to withdraw as his persistent knee problem continued to trouble him.

Surgery this summer ruled him out of the start of the campaign and his return has not been without its setbacks but with Stuart Lancaster announcing his England squad next week Smith has warned that Corbisiero’s knee problems are not to be taken lightly.

“It is very frustrating for us, and it is very frustrating for Corbs,” he said.

“It is a tough time for him, and it is a difficult one to balance. His knee is a mess. He has played one-and-a-half games for us this season, and it is very disappointing.

“I couldn’t tell you if he is going to play next week or not. He has got degenerative knee issues.

“He trained twice this week. We are bringing him back, and then at the captain’s run he pulled out prior to it, and we had to make a change.

“There is not much of a decision to make when a bloke’s knee has blown up and he feels he can’t play. You can’t put a gun to his head and tell him to get on the paddock.

“He is an honest person, he is a good bloke. He desperately wants to play for us, but it is a very frustrating situation.”

© Sportsbeat 2012

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