England superstar Maro Itoje has admitted he is still open on whether to leave or stay at Saracens.
However, it’s now increasingly likely that the lock will join Owen Farrell, Jamie George, Elliot Daly and the Vunipolas by re-committing to Sarries.
“Now I am 97 per cent sure and will confirm in due course.
“People often want you just to be what they perceive you to be. I am not rugby. I am Maro Itoje. I have other facets, other interests, other pleasures and displeasures.” https://t.co/aSJXFC6cmg— British GQ (@BritishGQ) June 16, 2020
“With all these things it depends on which story you want to tell. Both scenarios (leaving and staying) would work – with coronavirus after a World Cup this season has had a lot less demand on the body so playing more rugby at a continuous level next year may not necessarily be a bad thing.
“At the same time if you were to play in the Championship and have a less physical demand on your body you could really affect some games in a physical and athletic point of view.
“So they both have their pros and cons.”
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.
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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.
The four-time Premiership winner and three-time European champion’s international CV also makes for impressive reading. ‘The Pearl’ guided England U20 to their second-ever World Rugby Championship title before gaining a full cap in the 2016 Six Nations where Eddie Jones’ side were crowned Grand Slam champions.
He followed up with three Test starts on England’s victorious summer tour of Australia and another Six Nations gong before becoming a British & Irish Lion in 2017.
Itoje was named European Player of the Year and Land Rover Discovery of the Season in 2016 as well as man of the match in Saracens’ maiden European Cup success.
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British & Irish Lions predicted 2021 starting XV according to the bookies
You can view the full odds from Paddy Power HERE.
Odds are accurate on Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 8am, and are subject to change.
Fullback: LIAM WILLIAMS (Wales 4/7)
Other contenders: Stuart Hogg (Scotland 4/6), Jordan Larmour (Ireland EVS), Leigh Halfpenny (Wales 5/1), George Furbank (England 7/2)
Left wing: JONNY MAY (England 1/25)
Other contenders: Jacob Stockdale (Ireland 1/3), Adam Radwan (England 40/1), Jack Nowell (England 11/4), Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales 13/8)
Outside-centre: JONATHAN DAVIES (Wales 1/3)
Other contenders: Henry Slade (England 5/6), Garry Ringshow (Ireland 4/6), Jonathan Joseph (England 13/8), Chris Harris (Scotland 20/1), Huw Jones (Scotland 6/1)
Inside-centre: MANU TUILAGI (England 1/3)
Other contenders: Robbie Henshaw (Ireland 5/6), Hadleigh Parkes (Wales 5/4), Sam Johnson (Scotland 9/2)
Right wing: JOSH ADAMS (Wales 1/18)
Other contenders: Anthony Watson (England 4/6), George North (Wales 2/1), Elliot Daly (England 10/11), Joe Cokanasiga (England 3/1), Keith Earls (Ireland 9/2)