England's Alex Corbisiero said he was ready to seize his World Cup chance after fellow prop and "hero" Andrew Sheridan was ruled out of the tournament.
Sheridan's World Cup came to an end Wednesday when team management announced he was returning home with yet another injury to his much-damaged left shoulder suffered during England's 13-9 opening Pool B win against Argentina in Dunedin last weekend.
England, who brought five props with them to New Zealand, have yet to decide on whether to summon a like-for-like replacement for Sheridan.
They would have likely made changes for Sunday's match against Georgia in any event but Sheridan's departure has potentially cleared the way for Corbisiero, also a loosehead prop, to nail down a place.
The 23-year-old knows all about replacing Sheridan, having won the first of his six caps against Italy during the Six Nations in February when the Sale star was injured.
"Obviously it's very unfortunate," Corbisiero told reporters at England's hotel in Queenstown on Wednesday.
"Sheri worked really hard over the summer to come back from injury and has put in two very good performances," the London Irish front-row added.
"I just wish him all the best. He's a world-class player. He's a big hero of mine. I think the squad will miss him, but we've just got to get on with it now and go forward as a team in the tournament."
Corbisiero continued: "I've learned a lot from Sheri. He has been through a lot. He has played in a lot of tough games, he's played for the [British and Irish] Lions, he's a big carrier, he's got a great workrate for a big guy, and his set piece is very effective as well.
"I've been trying to copy things from his game and getting some advice from him has helped me massively.
"He's a great guy. I just feel for him."
England manager Martin Johnson is due to name his side to play Georgia on Friday.
Corbisiero wasn't even on the bench against the Pumas, with Matt Stevens, who can play on both sides of the scrum, replacing Sheridan in the 62nd minute.
"In terms of selection, we have to wait and see what happens at the weekend," said Corbisiero.
"I'm, just waiting for the opportunity to get involved in this World Cup and make a mark. When my opportunity comes I'll be ready to take it, and make the most of it."
Georgia, who begin their World Cup campaign against Scotland in Invercargill on Wednesday, are renowned scrummagers and Corbisiero said England would face a tough test at Dunedin's Otago Stadium.
"It's going to be a real battle this weekend. The scrum is a strength of their game, they've got a big pack and they will want to take us on.
"I've watched [David] Kubrisahvili from Toulon a lot. He's a big man, a very good scrummager. It will be a big challenge, whoever plays.
"We'll need a big effort all set piece wise and all round the park."
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