Nov 14, 2016
Itoje named World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year
Saracens lock Maro Itoje won the World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year award at the World Rugby Awards dinner last night (Sunday).
Itoje, 22, who was also voted European Player of the Season and Land Rover discovery of the Season in the Aviva Premiership, picked up the award after a stunning 2015/16 campaign for both Club and country.
The Saracens academy graduate helped Saracens secure a historic double in the 2015/16 season and was a key component of England’s Six Nations Grand Slam and 3-0 series whitewash of Australia down under.
On the award, Itoje said: “For me it’s still a case of trying to get better. I’ve only just turned 22 so I know I’ve still got a couple of years’ growth left in me but my focus is purely on becoming a better player. If I’m a better player tomorrow than I am today, then that’s a step in the right direction.”
Itoje and his Saracens and England team-mates Owen Farrell and Billy Vunipola were aloso nominated for the World Player of the Year award that went to New Zealand fly-half Beauden Barrett. New Zealand's Dane Coles and Ireland's Jamie Heaslip were also shortlisted.