Rugby

Maro Itoje relishing Springboks challenge

2018-06-04 11:10
Maro Itoje (Gallo Images)

cape Town - Saracens second-rower Maro Itoje says England are ready for the "incredible challenge" of winning a Test series in South Africa.

Itoje joined up with England after helping his club secure the Premiership title by beating Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham Stadium last weekend. 

England will play three Tests against the Springboks in June looking for a first ever series win in South Africa. 

“We’ve got an incredible challenge before us," the 23-year-old told England Rugby. 

“We’ve only been in camp since Tuesday but you quickly get the feeling that something big is about to happen and we’re really, really excited for it. 

“You can tell by the way the coaches are speaking, you can tell by the way my team-mates are speaking, by the way they’re training and the application is all looking good." 

England will be looking to respond to their disappointing Six Nations campaign earlier this year, and Itoje is confident with the ability in the squad. 

“The truth of the matter is we know we’re a good team, we know we have very good coaches and I believe if we play our style of rugby to the best of our ability on our day, most teams will struggle against us," he said. 

“That’s the mindset and mentality that we’re going to go out there with, we want to take this tour by the scruff of the neck and leave our imprint." 

With Dylan Hartley ruled out of the tour to South Africa, Owen Farrell will lead the squad for the Tests in Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and Cape Town. 

Having come through the academy at Sarries with Farrell, Itoje knows more than most how he can lead a side.

“Owen pushes the standards more than most.

“I actually think Owen plays better as captain," added Itoje.

Read more on:    england  |  springboks  |  maro itoje  |  rugby
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