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Corbisiero rues Sheridan absence

Alex Corbisiero admits England will miss the presence of his "big hero" and fellow loosehead prop Andrew Sheridan after he was ruled out of the Rugby World Cup with a shoulder injury.

Sheridan had scans on his left shoulder after England's 13-9 victory over Argentina and surgeons back in the UK, who studied the images, advised he should return home. The Sale prop had battled back from reconstructive surgery on his right shoulder to make the World Cup squad.

"Sheri worked really hard over the summer to come back from injury and has put in two very good performances. It is very disappointing," Corbisiero said. "I was aware he had a niggle form the weekend but I didn't realise the severity of it until I heard a couple of the boys talking about it."

He added: "I just wish him all the best. He's a world-class player. He's a big hero of mine. I think the squad will miss him, but we've just got to get on with it now and go forward as a team in the tournament."

England selected five props in their 30-man squad and have the resources to cover for Sheridan's absence against Georgia this weekend. Corbisiero is the only other specialist loosehead in the squad and is likely to make his World Cup debut on Sunday, but Matt Stevens and David Wilson are capable of playing both sides.

"When my opportunity comes I'll be ready to take it and make the most of it," said Corbisiero. "Responsibility will fall on all of us, as a front row, as a pack. There's four of us (props) left here and it's going to be a big job for all of us.

"Losing someone with the experience of Sheridan is tough, but it will make us stronger and pull together. We have four good players there."

Corbisiero made his Test debut against Italy in the Six Nations after Sheridan had pulled out with a calf injury.

"I've learned a lot from Sheri. He has been through a lot," the London Irish prop continued. "He has played in a lot of tough games, he's played Lions, he's a big carrier, he's got a great workrate for a big guy and his set piece is very effective as well.

"He was helpful to me, but it wasn't like taking me under his wing - there was mutual respect and he is more than willing to talk to you and to help you out. He's a great guy. I just feel for him."


From Belfast Telegraph