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Wednesday Oct 12, 2016

Maro Itoje performs some sort of wizardry to steal ball

What can’t this man do? Here is yet another brilliant bit of play from Maro Itoje, England’s next superstar forward, if he isn’t already. If you don’t know much about him yet, you will soon because the Saracens lock is pure class, and at such a young age.

So when he did this against Wasps at the weekend, the commentators were purring, not because of this moment in isolation, but because the 21-year-old workhorse regularly puts in stellar performances worthy of all the plaudits he continues to receive.

He is a more than capable loose forward too, so don’t be surprised if Eddie Jones has him at seven come the Autumn internationals. England’s back row stocks are depleted due to a number of injuries, so Itoje may well step up to play a role that he isn’t too worried about.

“I have played back-row for Saracens, so it’s something I have done before,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live. “Wherever I play I will look to be myself. At seven you have a bit more space, but I think it’s fairly similar (to playing six).”

Itoje has already won two Premiership titles, a Champions Cup, a Six Nations Grand Slam, and a series victory over Australia. That is not to mention a number of other titles, including lifting the Junior World Championship trophy as skipper of the England U20s.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall said that Itoje is an asset wherever he plays.

“Maro is capable of anything, isn’t he. It’s a tough one because he is obviously playing well in his preferred position at lock, but Eddie is spoilt for choice at lock, so it might be a case of getting his best players on to the field.

“He won’t be your conventional seven, but he would be a hard-tackling, destructive back-row player. He’s a very, very good rugby player as everybody knows, and he is bright enough to adjust.”

This steal against Wasps was just another example of what he is capable of, and another highlight that has Saracens and England rugby fans grinning ear to ear whenever he is on the park.

credit: premiership rugby

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