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Corbisiero focused for big year

Alex Corbisiero hopes to hit the ground running with England when World Cup year begins against Wales in Cardiff on February 6.

The British and Irish Lions prop has endured injury frustrations in recent times, missing the autumn internationals with a shoulder problem, but is now making his mark with Northampton and is determined to do so with England, too.

The 26-year-old, who was named in Stuart Lancaster's RBS 6 Nations squad on Wednesday, told Press Association Sport: "It was very, very frustrating. There were some tough times.

"It was not easy, but it makes it a lot sweeter to be back healthy and in a position to be back where I want to be.

"What an opportunity, what a way to start the competition and what an intense environment to walk into. I'm really looking forward to being involved.

"It's a massive year. We need to start putting in some performances, building some momentum and start aiming through this competition into what's ahead."

England have come close in the three Six Nations tournaments under Lancaster, but now are looking to deliver in a year which climaxes with a home World Cup.

There are points for England to prove at the Millennium Stadium next month.

The last time England went to Cardiff, bidding for a Grand Slam, they were beaten 30-3, while Wales are also World Cup pool opponents.

"We've won four out of five three years in a row, under Stuart, very close to winning that competition," Corbisiero added.

"Now it's time to step that up. Each game is so competitive. Everyone brings their A game and rises to the occasion, that's why it's such a hard tournament to come out on top of.

"That's definitely the goal for us. We're aiming towards big things in this competition and leading into the World Cup.

"Now is the time to start winning those games consistently and getting to the top of this competition."

Brad Barritt is also relishing a big international year and hopes to hold on to his spot in the centre despite competition from the likes of rugby league convert Sam Burgess.

"Across the board in the England squad there's great depth. The centres is no different," Barritt said.

"Every time I pull on the England jersey it's where I want to be.

"Every opportunity you get an England jersey you're purely a custodian of that and you've got to do everything you can for the team to make sure you hold on to it."

:: Alex Corbisiero and Brad Barritt were speaking at the launch of FLEXISEQ Sport, the new drug-free treatment for professional athletes and other active people wanting to avoid joint pain and stiffness. www.flexiseq.com/sport.

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