Maro Itoje believes he can play in England’s injury-depleted back row this autumn
The lock has been a mainstay of Eddie Jones’ side since making his international debut
England are without James Haskell, Jack Clifford, Sam Jones and Mike Williams through injury
Maro Itoje has backed himself to be a success at openside flanker were Eddie Jones to go down that route as a way of solving England’s crisis in the No 7 position.
“I have played back-row for Saracens, so it’s something I have done before,” the 21-year-old said.
With Jones saying Chris Robshaw is best utilised as a blindside flanker, Itoje could find himself in the unfamiliar number seven shirt come the autumn internationals.
“Wherever I play I will look to be myself,” Itoje added to BBC Radio 5 live. “At seven you have a bit more space, but I think it’s fairly similar [to playing six].”
Itoje’s director of rugby at Saracens, Mark McCall, says the player will be an asset wherever he is picked.
“Maro is capable of anything, isn’t he,” McCall told BBC 5 live.
“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,” McCall added.
“He’s a very, very good rugby player as everybody knows, and he is bright enough to adjust.”