Former England and Northampton Saints prop Alex Corbisiero has said that he “probably won’t play in the Premiership or in English Rugby again” if he can receive further media opportunities after signing with American broadcaster NBC as part of their Premiership Rugby coverage for this season.
Corbisiero, 28, announced last December that he was taking a 12-month unpaid sabbatical from professional rugby after stating that he needed time to refresh his mind and body after eight consecutive seasons of the sport.
After signing with American broadcaster NBC as an analyst for their Premiership Rugby coverage earlier this year, that sabbatical could now turn into an early retirement and a permanent break away from rugby if his career as a pundit presents further opportunities.
“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.”
Corbisiero revealed that there are still opportunities for him to play in England, after all, we’re only three years removed from the native New Yorker starring in the Lions third Test victory over the Wallabies in 2013.
High end props are a premium in professional rugby and a healthy Corbisiero is certainly among the best in the world when free from injury, but after seeing the effects that too much rugby has on former players, the Londoner is wary of what too much rugby can do to a player after their career.
“If it was not for the opportunity I received through NBC, I would definitely be playing very soon,” Corbisiero added.
“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.”
NBC signed a three-year broadcast deal with Premiership Rugby in March to be the league’s official broadcast partner in the United States. Corbisiero and host Leigh Diffey present the channel’s pre and post-game shows with BT Sport’s array of match day commentators assuming the commentary duty.
Jack O’Toole, Pundit Arena
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