Corbisiero backs cap changes

England international thinks teams will benefit from move

Last Updated: 11/04/12 1:19pm

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England and London Irish prop Alex Corbisiero believes increasing the salary cap from next season will help clubs compete with Europe's elite.

There is no English interest in the semi-finals of the Heineken Cup after Saracens succumbed to a 22-3 home defeat to Clermont Auvergne at Vicarage Road over the weekend.

Top 14 clubs in France have salaries capped at £7.2million, although the limit is going to be raised to £4.5m for Premiership clubs next season while they will also have opportunity to nominate one player which can be excluded from calculation.

Corbisiero believes the moves will help English clubs compete in European competition, but he knows that spending loads of money building a team is no guarantee for success.

"Yeah you could say that's good news, but to be honest you'd got to play the hand you've been dealt really. As players get on with it," he told Sky Sports.

"You can't just build a good team just by spending loads of money. There's a lot of hard work, there's a lot of coaching and there's a lot of time together time to build that team.

"I think it's unfair to say that's the be-all and end-all but I'm sure it's a factor. It seems like they're addressing it and we'll see what happens going forward really."

The lofty salary cap in France has seen a number of big-name players make the move across the channel, including the likes of Tom Palmer and Jonny Wilkinson, although Corbisiero is looking to stay put.

The 23-year-old is keen to remain part of the England set-up and he thinks playing in the Premiership is the best way to be included by coach Stuart Lancaster.

"I think staying in England, playing with an English club and playing with these guys is the best way to do it."
Alex Corbisiero Quotes of the week

"I'm sure financial reasons probably play a part in it," he said of players who ply their trade outside of England. "I think it honestly goes down to the individual and where they are at in their career and what they want to get out of it.

Decisions

"There's a lot of guys that I know, including myself, who want to play international rugby and keep trying to play for their country and try aim for this next world cup and going forward like that.

"I think staying in England, playing with an English club and playing with these guys is the best way to do it.

"If you're at a different part of your career or if you've got different decisions to make, financial or your family, then I can completely understand the temptation to go aboard."

Corbisiero played his part in England's successful 2011/12 Six Nations campaign where Lancaster's men finished with a fine 4-1 record, their only defeat coming against Wales.

Things were not going so well under former coach Martin Johnson and the United States-born lock insists the players made a conscious decision to put their poor spell behind them and set new standard for their play.

"I think we just drew a line under what had happened before and said we're going to start again. We've got a new squad of players together," he said.

"We've built ourselves up from the foundation. We've built a culture. We've set standards. We all bought into it. We all self-policed it.

"I think we went out and played for each other and were really proud to be playing for our country and I think that showed in our performances and people started to get behind us.

"It was a great experience. I think we really did bond. We all went out together, played our hearts out and played for each other."

Lancaster took charge of England's latest Six Nations campaign having initially been appointed on an interim basis and Corbisiero believes the RFU's decision to keep him on was the right decision.

"We showed in that Six Nations just in the short time together what Stuart was able to achieve and get out of us."
Alex Corbisiero Quotes of the week

"I was very pleased. I think it was the right decision going forward," he added.

"We showed in that Six Nations just in the short time together what Stuart was able to achieve and get out of us.

Consistency

"He really helped us build that environment and build where we did very well. It was the right decision going forward and hopefully there's good things to come.

"It's hard to put your finger on anything in particular. Martin Johnson was a great manager and a great leader. Stuart Lancaster is as well and maybe he saw a few things that he didn't like and changed."

On the domestic front London Irish find themselves ninth in the standings with six wins from 19 games and Corbisiero admits the team have been hurt by a lack of consistency.

"We've been struggling to find the form we want and to find it consistently. I think consistency has been our issue this year and hopefully we can address that going forward.

"It's not been the best of seasons, but there are still a lot of good players here and we're a good squad and we're going to keep working hard and going forward until the end of the season."

Alex Corbisiero is a massive WWE fan and tickets are still available for their UK tour. Visit www.wwe.com/revengetourUK for details.

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