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Corbisiero retirement?

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Corbisiero retirement? Empty Corbisiero retirement?

Post by hugehandoff Wed Sep 21, 2016 5:43 pm

I rate Corbs very highly and hoped he would return refreshed and injury free from his sabbatical ready to contribute to England and the Lions. From the Telegraph article below it appears he has no interest in playing again. The battering on his body took its toll. A shame.

"There are different forms of bravery in rugby. Any player who crosses the white line into a world of 20 stone props and fly halves who tackle like locomotives has already demonstrated considerable courage. Yet it also requires courage to choose not to cross that line, to admit vulnerability and to forgo that opportunity.

Such was Alex Corbisiero’s decision in December when he announced that he was taking a 12-month break from the game. The cumulative effect of ten years at the coalface had taken such a toll that the Northampton and England prop had forgotten what it felt like to be fit and healthy.

“For the last three four years of my career there was always some form of ailment or injury to manage,” Corbisiero said. “I was either on anti-inflammatories or I was icing constantly to make sure I squeezed every drop of my body out for the weekend.” He was equally exhausted mentally. Stress was ever-present, like a poison in his blood.

Both body and mind needed a clean break from rugby to recover. That much was clear. Yet there was still a sizeable risk involved. Unlike Richie McCaw or Dan Carter, his sabbatical was unpaid and there would be no guarantee of a future contract let alone an international place for the most destructive loosehead prop of his generation. That became even more apparent when Northampton prematurely ended Corbisiero’s contract in January.

In his head, Corbisiero thought he would be back by the end of the year. Certainly there was no shortage of clubs interested in signing the cornerstone of the Lions’ series victory against Australia in 2013 who at 28 was still approaching the peak of his career as a prop.

What Corbisiero had not envisaged was just how happy – a word he employs frequently throughout the interview – he would feel since he stopped playing. In his eight months out of the game, he has fully recuperated mentally and physically. “My aches and pains are non existent now.”

His plans on returning to English rugby this season have been put on hold since being taken on as an analyst for NBC, the American broadcaster which has started screening Premiership rugby in the USA this season. His sabbatical may have become indefinite. “It depends on how this year with NBC goes,” Corbisiero told The Daily Telegraph. “If it goes well and there are further opportunities then I probably won’t play in the Premiership or England again.”

That is primarily because of how much he has enjoyed the role with NBC and the opportunity to bring rugby to the country of his birth. Corbisiero is the perfect missionary, blending an infectious passion with an ability to articulate the intricacies of a sport he still loves.

Yet there is also the nagging thought that he may have got out of top-flight rugby at the right time, that the rewards were no longer worth the risks. “If it was not for the opportunity I received through NBC I would definitely be playing very soon,” Corbisiero said. “I was speaking to a few clubs with a view to possibly playing by November or January. But the NBC role was just a dream scenario for me.

“There are opportunities if I want to play. I could probably stay in the higher end of the game for another three or four years but I know at the end of those four years I would be very beaten up. As you get older in life it is a balancing act. There are ex-players I know who have achieved some amazing things in the game. But they also might walk with a limp for the rest of their lives or have an ear replacement by 40. It is weighing that up whether I want it or not.”

Corbisiero is not looking for sympathy. “We know the length of the season. We know the job. We know what it entails. So you can’t cry foul that is so hard.” Nor does he wish to be used as the poster boy for player welfare. His decision was based on his personal circumstances rather than a principled stand.

However, Corbisiero is not prepared to bite his tongue. He plays down the feasibility of a unified global calendar. “I think the people who could make a change don’t want do do it.” And is open about the constraints of a players’ union which is funded by the bodies from which it needs to extra concessions.

He does not pretend there is a simple solution to the issue burnout but does point to how the NFL has limited contact training with the use of independent overseers. Only this week, the Seattle Seahawks were fined $400,000 (£343,000) and their head coach Pete Carroll $200,000 (£172,000) for excessive physical contact during offseason workouts. “The clubs and countries are trying to work something out but there is no one overseeing it all and who can make a big picture schedule decision,” Corbisiero said. “Limiting contact training is something they should really look at some point. The problem at the moment is that there is no overseer monitoring all this.”

Should his deal with NBC be extended then Corbisiero, who was born in New York and represented USA Under-19s, may look at playing in the newly established PRO Rugby, a five-team league in America. It has been said many times before that USA are the sport’s sleeping giant, but Corbisiero sincerely believes that exposure to high-quality rugby both through NBC and the staging of matches such as Saracens v London Irish will be key to ending the slumber.

“That will inspire more kids and educate coaches and players,” Corbisiero said. “I really think rugby can appeal to American audiences. It is not stop start. There are not tonnes of ad breaks. It flows. That’s why the Premier League has been successful because they like the flow and the way the action goes from end to end. Also rugby has got the contact element, the physicality and the big hits of the NFL as well as the competitiveness of the league.”


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Corbisiero retirement? Empty Re: Corbisiero retirement?

Post by fa0019 Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:57 am

I can imagine those teams he would be playing for would be pay per play and he knows deep down his knees are shot. Once your knees go, no matter what age you are... you're on borrowed time.

Ledley King at spurs managed it for a few seasons; playing in only a dozen games a season, well spread throughout the year and not training at all. Come the end his training regime was walking in a pool.


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