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Maro Itoje may replace Chris Robshaw for Brisbane opener

  • Maro Itoje in line to replace Chris Robshaw in England’s back row for opening Australia Test
  • The Saracens forward was given Robshaw’s place at blindside flanker during Monday’s training session
  • It is understood that head coach Eddie Jones has deliberated over the positional switch
Maro Itoje could replace former captain Chris Robshaw in England’s back row for Saturday’s opening Test against Australia in Brisbane.

The 21-year-old Saracens lock practised in Robshaw’s position of blindside flanker on Monday as coach Eddie Jones considers his options.

Itoje could provide an injection of dynamism to the position, with his power, athleticism and ability over the ball all features of a stellar season which saw him win the Aviva Premiership and Champions Cup with Saracens.

Joe Launchbury would fill the vacancy at lock after his outstanding shift in the rout of Wales at Twickenham nine days ago, a match World Cup captain Robshaw missed to attend his brother’s wedding in Portugal.