FEATURE INTERVIEW | Maro Itoje
Maro Itoje was one of England’s best performers during their recent Six Nations campaign and he is confident he can carry his international form into Saracens’ end of season run in.
The 27-year-old’s return comes as a big boost to Mark McCall’s side. While figuring heavily in such an intense and physically demanding international competition as the Six Nations would take its toll on most players Itoje is chomping at the bit.
“Obviously, it was a pretty tough Six Nations for us international players, but the club are going to look after us,” he said. “The body is feeling good.
“It’s great to be back at Saracens. It’s very exciting all in all. The Saracens culture makes it easier, but I guess coming back into club rugby after the Six Nations does have its challenges. Sport moves forward so quickly so you can’t really rest on your laurels, good or bad, for too long because the next challenge is always just around the corner.
“It’s not the hardest thing in the world but it does take some getting used to. But it’s so exciting to be back at Saracens.
“There’s everything to play for between now and the end of the season. It’s a huge motivation of mine to really put my best foot forward for Saracens to help the squad achieve something special this season.
“I think I’ve been building throughout the season and growing steadily. I guess the challenge for me is to continue to build and keep improving my performances from week to week."
Since winning promotion from the Championship Saracens have made an immediate impact on the Premiership. The five-time Premiership champions have won 13 out of their opening 19 fixtures this season and are currently second in the table.
England and British & Irish Lions star Itoje is happy with how his side have performed since winning promotion but insists they must keep improving if they are to compete for silverware come the end of the season.
“Without a doubt it’s a realistic goal to win the Premiership this season,” he said. “I think given the quality that we have, the experience that we have, and the playing staff that’s definitely our goal this season.
“We are bubbling along reasonably well and going a little bit under the radar. This part of the year we really want to kick on and push things forward.
“I don’t see any reason why that shouldn’t be our goal, but we know how difficult it will be. There are a lot of quality sides in this league so we will have to keep improving our game on a weekly basis, but I’m confident in the ability of this squad.”