Maro Itoje moved lightyears ahead of Eben Etzebeth with this epic behind-the-scenes speech
By Rugby Onslaught

Maro Itoje moved lightyears ahead of Eben Etzebeth with this epic behind-the-scenes speech

England’s Maro Itoje may have moved ahead of his Springboks rival Eben Etzebeth in their eternal battle for second row supremacy.

With both players up there with the world’s best on the pitch, it is the stuff off the pitch that may help one move ahead of the other. Well, Itoje’s team talk after England’s loss to Scotland in the Six Nations on Saturday meant the Saracen’s stock only rose.

England lost in agonising fashion, blowing a seven point lead in the closing minutes of the match. They were obviously dejected, but the 27-year-old gave a rousing speech in the changing room, citing England’s opening round losses previously in the Six Nations where they’ve gone on to win the Championship.

“What matters is what’s in this circle fellas,” the British & Irish Lions player of the series sad.

“So how we react, how we stick together- how we react, how we stick together. We’ve been here before, we’ve lost the first game, we’ve bounced back and had a good tournament thereafter. So obviously we’re disappointed, obviously we’re sad that we lost, but this tournament depends on how we react. And how we react if we stick, we get tight, we’ll use this game to get tighter.”


England Squad

Alfie Barbeary (Wasps, uncapped)
Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons, 5 caps)
Ollie Chessum, Leicester Tigers, uncapped)
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 32 caps)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 37 caps)
Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 5 caps)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 27 caps)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 32 caps)
Jamie George (Saracens, 62 caps)
Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers, 2 caps)
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 52 caps)
Nick Isiekwe (Saracens, 4 caps)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 69 caps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 90 caps)
Joe Marler (Harlequins, 75 caps)
Tom Pearson (London Irish, uncapped)
Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks, 2 caps)
Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, 10 caps)
Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 48 caps)
Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 16 caps)

Mark Atkinson (Gloucester Rugby, 1 cap)
Elliot Daly (Saracens, 53 caps)
George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 78 caps)
George Furbank (Northampton Saints, 5 caps)
Ollie Hassell-Collins (London Irish, uncapped)
Louis Lynagh (Harlequins, uncapped)
Max Malins (Saracens, 11 caps)
Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 8 caps)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 34 caps)
Raffi Quirke (Sale Sharks, 2 caps)
Adam Radwan (Newcastle Falcons, 2 caps)
Harry Randall (Bristol Bears, 2 caps)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 44 caps)
Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 6 caps)
Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 6 caps)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 113 caps)