Racing 92 owner Jacky Lorenzetti was asked if they made approach for England lock Maro Itoje, and he didn’t hold back with his response.
“Yes, but it was unplayable,” Lorezetti told rugbyrama.fr of what Itoje wanted to cross the English Channel.
“You know, we weren’t the only ones at the time: Bordeaux, Lyon, Montpellier were all called upon. We were talking about a salary of €1million (NZ$1.78m).
“That represented 10 per cent of our payroll. We made the choice not to go any further.”
The lock, who is equally at home on the flank, is one of a number of success stories from the Saracens Academy, stepping up to the first team for his debut in January 2013 in the LV= Cup.
Since then he has captained the club to the Anglo-Welsh Cup and developed into a world class option with astounding physicality and defensive attributes.
MARO ITOJE FACTS:
1. His Name
His full name is much more of a mouthful. The lock was born Oghenemaro Miles Itoje in Camden, London on 28 October 1994 to Nigerian parents.
2. Other Sports
As a schoolboy, Itoje played several sports including basketball, football, rugby and athletics, representing England at U17 level in shot put.
Maro got a rugby scholarship to London Harrow school when he was 11. He then studied for a Politics degree at the School of Oriental and African Studies in Bloomsbury, London at the same time as starting his rugby career.