Sport

Rugby star Maro Itoje, 21, backed to be next England captain

UP FOR THE TOP JOB: Maro Itoje

UP FOR THE TOP JOB: Maro Itoje

JUNIOR WORLD Cup winner Maro Itoje is being touted as a potential to captain the English rugby squad.

The 21-year-old is already making waves as he earns his first start for England against opponents Ireland tomorrow (Feb 27).

And now rugby legend Sir Clive Woodward says it’s just a matter of time before Maro captains the national team.

Currently dominating the second row position at rugby union club Saracens F.C, Maro previously captained England at the under 20s level in 2014.

But it wasn’t until last month that the youngster received his first call-up to the senior England squad to play in the Six Nations Championship.

Writing in his Daily Mail column, English rugby legend Woodward explained why he thinks the Camden-born player will make the perfect captain.

“The Saracens second-row is still only 21 but is a wonderfully exciting prospect and one of the reasons England fans have good reason to be optimistic about the future.

“Itoje has a remorseless nature around the breakdown which impresses me hugely. He has the attitude of a back-rower in that respect. He is constantly on the prowl, hitting rucks and mauls to good effect. When he arrives at the breakdown things start happening very quickly.”

It is not only Woodward who sees the immense promise of Maro‘s career. England manager Eddie Jones has deliberately stopped him from speaking to the media before Saturday’s game.

Speaking to the Guardian, Jones said he doesn’t want him to be a “headline before he’s a headline.”

“I want this kid to play 70-80 Tests. He’s good enough but I want him to earn his stripes. So far he has done nothing. When he’s played a massive game for England and won a significant Test match, I’ll let you talk to him.”

WORDS: Hazelann Williams

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