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Super Maro

TOP MAN: Maro Itoje

YOUNG RUBGY ace Maro Itoje is destined to “go a long way” in the game, according to his coach.

Itoje was lauded for his display in the British Lions’ thrilling 24- 21 success against the New Zealanders on Saturday and good judges see a bright future for the 22-year-old Saracens lock.

The three-Test series now stands at one win apiece and with the decider set for Eden Park in Auckland on July 8.

Lions coach Graham Rowntree was suitably impressed enough to say of Itoje’s display: “You can’t deny his game impact, his physicality. He brought all of that. But I like his composure.

PIVOTAL

“He is still a young man. It’s a pivotal Test and he is in there calling the lineout on top of everything else he is doing in the game. Maro’s biggest quality is humility and how humble he is and how he is continually striving to get better. He is continually striving to get better, asking everyone, ‘How can I get better?’ He will go a long way.”

LIFE

The son of Nigerian immigrants, Efe and Florence, Itoje started life in Camden, north London, the middle child of three between older brother Jeremy and younger sister Isabel.

The 6’5”, 18st 5lb Itoje has played a major role in England’s renaissance under coach Eddie Jones. Earlier this year rugby legend Jason Robin- son hailed the impact of Itoje and the other black players in the international set up.

Robinson told the Voice of Sport: “With the likes of Courtney Lawes, Jonathan Joseph and Maro Itoje break- ing through it is immense and can make a difference to the black guys that don’t always have the access to play rugby.”

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