Maro Itoje has big plans ahead of World Cup next year
With less than a year to go until the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, Maro Itoje already has big plans for the build up to the tournament. So much so that his trip to the Under Armour Performance Centre in Portland, Oregon, during preseason this year was a trial to see if he could do it ahead of England’s pre World Cup camp next year.
Itoje spent ten days at the camp after England’s series win in Australia, which was documented by BT Sport. While there, he said that he was hoping that the camp could be part of his preparation before teaming up with Eddie Jones next year.
But for now the lock said he is not looking too far ahead, and said he was planning to start the season well with Saracens. He certainly did that last Saturday in his side’s opening game of the season against Harlquins, as they ran out 30-27 winners at the Stoop.
“Well, the World Cup is obviously on your mind,” Itoje said. “It’s always in the background of your mind. Part of the reason why I wanted to come this year was to also trial how this week is looking and potentially do it again in the off season I have in the lead up to the World Cup preseason camp.
“This is a reason why we play rugby- you want to be a part of the biggest occasions. You want to be playing for England, you want to be playing in finals, you want to be competing in World Cups, Six Nations. This is the reason. So for me personally, I want to put myself in the best possible position to hopefully do well.
“At the forefront of my mind now is to get myself in the best possible shape for preseason, start the season well with Saracens then hopefully autumn international thereafter. I’m not really looking too far ahead of that at this stage.”