Bizarre comments from Eddie Jones in saying that he doesn’t believe Maro Itoje will become England’s captain in the future.
Itoje, according to Jones, is “very inward looking”…, “drives himself rather than anyone else”… and “doesn’t usually influence people off the field.”
Unless this is a typical Eddie Jones way of trying to motivate Itoje (and if so it’s a strange way to go about things), this is a very odd thing to be saying.
Those that know Itoje describe him as a driven player who leads by example and who drives up the standards of those around him. Danny Care, for instance says that the “energy, professionalism, dedication” that Itoje brings day in day out has a knock-on effect of making everyone around him a better player.
Itoje, remember, captained England’s Under 20s to the World Championship title in 2014 and has on occasion skippered Saracens.
And it was only earlier this year when he was being endorsed as a possible Lions captain by the likes of Sam Warburton and Clive Woodward.
Maro Itoje may not be the type of captain that Eddie Jones prefers, but to dismiss him as captaincy material is clearly nonsense.
And I wouldn’t mind betting that that one of the first things that Eddie Jones’ successor (whoever that may be) will do will be to pick up the phone to Itoje to offer him the captaincy.
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