Maro Itoje: Playing at six or second row doesn’t change my mindset
Maro Itoje is taking each challenge one step at a time in 2017
The 22-year-old is happy to play wherever he is needed for England
He admitted he’d ‘love to be involved in the Lions tour this summer
Maro Itoje faces the most demanding 12 months of his life in 2017, with the Six Nations and a probable Lions tour to New Zealand to deal with.
Under Eddie Jones, England have won all of their nine matches to climb from eighth to second in the world rankings, with just New Zealand ahead of them.
However, with injuries ruling both Chris Robshaw and Billy Vunipola out of the Six Nations, Itoje’s first challenge could well be swapping his regular duties in the second-row to do a job No.6 – but the Saracens lock is more than willing to do so:
“Playing at six or second row doesn’t change my mindset.” said Itoje.
Maro Itoje’s 2016:
Whitewash in Australia
31-game winning streak
World Breakthrough POTY pic.twitter.com/xlubHFhhR8
— BigSport (@BigSportGB) November 14, 2016
“I just try to be as physical, energetic and lively as possible and those things don’t change.
“Every player in the set up knows what the coaches want. There are no grey areas and where you need to improve.”
And Itoje, who won the World Rugby Breakthrough player of the year in 2016, showed his class when questioned about a possible Lions call-up.
“You are being rather presumptuous to say that I could be part of the next Lions tour. ” responded Itoje to the Evening standard.
“I try to live in the moment and the reality is that everyone would like to be involved in a Lions tour, however, it is an awful long way away.
“There is a lot of rugby to be played up to that point and I have to focus on the Toulon game on Saturday.
“Hopefully, I will then be involved with England in the Six Nations and we will go from there.”
Eddie Jones’ men kick off their 2017 Six Nations campaign against France on February 4th.