England stars Maro Itoje and Mako Vunipola have been backed to “make good decisions” about their future at Saracens by England’s defence coach John Mitchell.
The England head coach, Eddie Jones, and other senior Twickenham officials had hoped Itoje would be moving on loan to Racing 02, but that was blocked.
The Top 14 club offered the England star a whopping £1m to join the club for a season on loan, but this was blocked, with clubs insisting it does not fit the “exceptional circumstances” clause which might theoretically allow a player to represent his country while based abroad.
However, the Aussie is reportedly ‘hopeful’ the deal can still be done as the Gallagher Premiership teams are. now discussing desperately how to reduce the salary cap.
It’ believed the ex-saracens boss is very involved with transfer discussions, with Jones also involved in the potential departures of Mako Vunipola and Owen Farrell.
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“I’m sure Eddie, as he is very good at, is guiding them and helping them. They’ll probably seek his advice at some point,” said Mitchell.
“They’ve got people they respect in their families and friends and they’ve got people within Saracens they respect who they have built up trust with.
“I’m quite confident both of them will make good decisions – decisions that are right for them and their families but also what’s right for them in terms of playing Test rugby for England, because they are two guys who love playing for England.”
LIST | 5 teams Maro Itoje could join on loan next season
Oooooooh, Maro Ittttoooooooje, oooooooh Maro Itooooooje!
Could it be that Saracens supporters have sung this ode to their superstar for the final time for a while?
Maro Itoje has stepped up over the past couple of seasons to become arguably the best player in the world, and his performances have been so influential that life without him must seem pretty stark for Sarries.
The reigning top-flight champions will drop into the Championship at the end of the current campaign after being automatically demoted for salary cap breaches.
And with the British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa penciled in for next summer, the second-row has been hunting for a temporary move away.
But which teams could realistically afford to sign Itoje, and who are the most likely to lure him away from Allianz Park?
1. Racing 92
A controversial plan to allow England’s second-row to play in France next season while still being available for the national team has sparked a major row between England’s leading clubs and the Rugby Football Union.
Itoje had been offered a seven-figure sum to join the top French side Racing 92 on loan
Despite Eddie Jones and other senior Twickenham officials hoping Itoje’s proposed switch would be approved, the idea was initially vetoed by other Premiership club owners.
However, it’s reported that Itoje may push once again to get his move to the French capital in the coming weeks.