Oct 31, 2017
'Anglo-Welsh Cup' close to my heart - Itoje
This week Maro Itoje will be part of Eddie Jones’ England training camp in Portugal.
Rewind three years ago, the Saracens star was preparing to face Harlequins in the opening fixture of what proved to be a memorable Anglo-Welsh Cup campaign for the then 20-year old academy lock forward.
Since then Itoje’s rise prominence for Club and country has been seeming unstoppable, with Itoje starring in his club’s European Champions Cup and Aviva Premiership triumphs, picking up the European Rugby Player of the Season in 2016 and on the international scene he exceled for both England and the British & Irish Lions.
It may come as a surprise to many that Itoje, despite the plethora of medals and championships he was won in his short time as a professional that he cites Saracens Anglo-Welsh Cup triumph in 2015 as one of his most treasured memories.
Itoje skippered Saracens to the cross-country trophy in 2015, when a Ben Spencer last minute kick defeated Exeter Chiefs at Franklin’s Gardens in a memorable final.
“The Anglo-Welsh Cup is a competition that is still pretty close to my heart,” said Itoje. “That season where we won the competition is one of my favourite memories of my time with Saracens – we had a great group, with a strong camaraderie and I think that experience helped me develop and mature pretty quickly in senior rugby. When I captained Saracens against Harlequins at Allianz Park in the first game back in 2014, it was fantastic experience - it still remains one of my proudest moments of my time in rugby so far.
“We have a really talented, deep squad here at Saracens, with some players who will use the Anglo-Welsh Cup to showcase their talents and abilities. It’s an important competition for every club and I know that speaking to the guys who will be involved this season, they are highly motivated to go out there and make some memories in this competition.”
Catch the next generation of Saracens stars this weekend, tickets for Sunday’s game against Harlequins are still available from www.saracens.com/tickets