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Italy clash intrigues Corbisiero

England's history boy Alex Corbisiero is not part of the X-box generation, preferring his degree studies on the unification of Italy to computer games.

If Corbisiero has one vice it is a passion for WWE wrestling - but all his outside interests will be on hold this weekend as England prepare to face Italy in Rome. The country holds a fascination for Corbisiero, whose great-grandfather moved from Naples to New York in the 1920s, but the museum visits will have to wait for another trip.

Almost a year to the day after making his Test debut against the Azzurri in England's title-winning 2011 RBS 6 Nations campaign, Corbisiero will lock horns once again with Martin Castrogiovanni. He said: "Italy is part of my heritage. I am fascinated by its history."

He added: "History was always my favourite subject at school. Instead of sitting around playing PlayStation, studying for a degree is something where I can use my time properly.

"I am very intrigued with the history behind things, the way things have developed. You can see patterns in history repeating themselves. This is a lovely place to visit and I would love to look around Rome - but I will have to save that for a holiday.

"I have a job to do here this weekend and I am focusing on getting that job right."

The Azzuri will be chasing a significant slice of rugby history - their first victory over England - when the two sides clash at a sold-out Stadio Olimpico.

There will be nothing stage managed, WWE-style, about Corbisiero's showdown with Castrogiovanni, the Leicester tighthead prop who epitomises the scrummaging strength of Italy's game.

"Castro is a tough test, a good scrummager he will put you under pressure. Any mistakes he will capitalise upon, he is a world-class tighthead," Corbisiero said. "I played against him last year (on my England debut) and it was pretty even. I have obviously had a tough time with him before but you learn from stuff like that.

"It is going to be a real battle this weekend, not just me personally but as a pack, we are going to have to step it up and give our team the platform we want to play from."


From Belfast Telegraph