Sir Clive Woodward can’t think of a single reason why Maro Itoje isn’t starting the Test at Twickenham and has criticised the decision extensively today.
“I’m scratching my head. I can’t think of a single reason why Maro Itoje isn’t starting Saturday’s Test against Australia. It’s baffling.” wrote Woodward for the MailOnline.
“Australia are finishing the season like a train and this is the showpiece game of the autumn series for England. It’s the match you play your ‘Gun XV’ and the one, more than any other, that you use as a yardstick.
“Yet here we have one of England’s two nominees for world player of the year on the bench. What’s going on?
“There is no suggestion that Itoje needs a rest after the Lions tour and he is not injured. He was virtually ever-present for Saracens in September and also in their big European matches in October.
“I was surprised that Itoje and Owen Farrell did not start against Argentina, but I’m astonished Itoje is not starting this game.
“I would imagine one or two England fans will also be disgruntled about the selection, having expected to see Itoje feature prominently this autumn.
“These are the players who people come to watch, the players who sell out stadiums. These matches should not be seen as trial games!”