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London Irish 15:00 Saracens

Brian Smith was impressed by Alex Corbisiero on his return to action for London Irish in the win over Sale

Last Updated: 11/11/12 9:05pm

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Brian Smith: Reserved praise for Corbisiero

Brian Smith: Reserved praise for Corbisiero

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London Irish boss Brian Smith believes Alex Corbisiero is on the brink of an England return after his performance in the 34-28 LV=Cup win over Sale.

The prop was making his first start of the season after injuring his knee on England duty in the summer and turned in an impressive 62-minute spell.

"Alex has been in with the England camp so he knows what's going on there," said the Exiles director of rugby.

"If he puts in another good performance against Leicester next week I'm sure he'll be throwing his hat in the ring for England if they feel that Joe Marler needs a rest.

"Had things been going better we would probably have only played him for the first 40 minutes.

"But we had half a dozen scrums on their line and he hung tough for us, but we got him out of the contest at the right point for him and for us."

Sale chief executive Steve Diamond said: "We're disappointed. One or two of our players showed their naivety, losing control when they were in control.

"We had three or four scrums on our own line and got out of it and then had a poor kick out which cost us.

"We had the game and should have won it, but we gave 19 soft points away. It was another of those occasions when we haven't capitalised on the position we are in."

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