Experience counts for Jenson in new deal
Prop and Parling miss autumn internationals
ENGLAND’S injury woes continued to escalate after Alex Corbisiero and Geoff Parling were ruled out of the autumn series.
Prop Corbisiero will be sidelined until early next year after having surgery to repair torn shoulder ligaments, while second row Parling is expected to return from concussion in December.
The loss of Corbisiero is a huge setback to England, who are now missing four front rows for the series against New Zealand, South Africa, Samoa and Australia.
The British and Irish Lions loosehead joins Tom Youngs, Dan Cole and Mako Vunipola among the wounded after being hurt in Northampton’s 31-24 Premiership win over Bath on Saturday.
Corbisiero was poised to play a full role at Twickenham in November having battled back from the succession of serious knee injuries that have hampered his career.
“The specialist’s advice is that the tear needed surgical repair so that Corbisiero can play to an optimum level in the future,” a Northampton statement read.
“The Saints and England medical teams are liasing on Corbisiero’s treatment and recovery.”
Just two hours after Northampton’s update on Corbisiero had been issued yesterday, Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill confirmed Parling was facing two months of recovery.
Parling has been concussed five times in 11 months, most recently in the 45-0 Premiership defeat at Bath 10 days ago.
The Lions lock also sustained head trauma in a pre-season friendly against Edinburgh and was out for three weeks. While Parling is facing a two-month spell out, Cockerill dispelled concerns over his playing career.
“Geoff saw the relevant specialist this week and will have time out of the game now,” Cockerill said.
“He’ll probably have three or four weeks of complete down time and then he’ll be reintegrated into training.
“You’d like to think that by December he’ll be playing again. And there’s no doubt about that, he will play again. There are no issues over that.
“It’s more that he’s had successive concussions in a short period of time. You have to take that very seriously, as we do.” JENSON BUTTON has made another push to remain at McLaren after suggesting experience is the key if the team’s rekindled relationship with Honda is to hit the ground running.
The Japanese engine manufacturer is returning to Formula One for the first time since pulling their team out of the sport ahead of the 2009 season – the year Button was crowned champion.
McLaren will see a 20-year partnership with Mercedes come to an end before the 2015 season and have signed a deal to be reunited with Honda, with who they enjoyed a period of domination in the late 1980s.
Button – the most experienced driver on the grid with 261 Grand Prix to his name – may not be a part of the reunion as his contract expires at the end of this year.
Although he has said he is “pretty happy” that a new deal may soon be in place to see him stay with the team for a sixth year, fellow champions such as Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton have all been linked with a McLaren seat for 2015.
But Button said: “It would help them if they had experienced drivers driving their car for development reasons.
“You need driver input and feel, from experience – you definitely benefit from that.”
The championship returns to Suzuka this weekend – a race which Button, who is engaged to Japanese fashion model Jessica Michibata, always looks forward to.
He added: “Coming to Suzuka feels like a second home race for me.”