England lock Maro Itoje selects incredible Nigeria XV

SECOND-ROW:

4. Nick Isiekwe: The lock made his Saracens debut aged 18 and a mere year later was earning his first international cap for England. Prior to that, he plied his trade at Old Albanian before joining the Sarries Academy and represented his country from Under-16 to Under-20 level.

5. Emeka Ilione: The second-row began his rugby journey at Nottingham High School aged 11, before joining the Leicester Tigers academy at 13.Previous clubs also include Nottingham Corsairs and he credits Tim Loveridge there for giving him a good understanding of the game.


BACK-ROW:

6. Maro Itoje (C): The man himself. The four-time Premiership winner and three-time European champion’s international CV also makes for impressive reading. ‘The Pearl’ guided England U20 to their second-ever World Rugby Championship title before gaining a full cap in the 2016 Six Nations where Eddie Jones’ side were crowned Grand Slam champions. He followed up with three Test starts on England’s victorious summer tour of Australia and another Six Nations gong before becoming a British & Irish Lion in 2017.

7. Andy Christie: The Scotland age-grade youngster had spent the summer of 2018 in Wellington, New Zealand learning from the likes of All Black legend Rodney So’oialo before returning to north London. He was then selected by England Under-20s against the Junior Springboks in April 2019 before coming off the bench for his Saracens debut at Worcester Warriors a month later.

8. Simon Uzokwe: The back-rower has spent the last four years at Newcastle Falcons, and was part of their Greene King IPA Championship winning squad this year. He’s signed up to join ambitious Championship Ealing Trailfinders for next season.


BENCH:

16. Danny Hobbs, 17. Josh Ibuanokpe, 18. Eliot Obats, 19. Paulo Odogwu, 20. Jordan Olowafela


COACHING STAFF:

  • Director of Rugby: Ugo Monye
  • Forwards coach: Steve Ojomah
  • Back and skills coach: Topsy Ojo
  • Scrum coach: Victor Ubogu
  • Breakdown: Maggie Alphonsi
  • Team Manager: Aunty Funke
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