Maro Itoje wants to become the Lion King by taking inspiration from Disney’s film of the same name.
The English star will take on Irish rival James Ryan today. Both men are at the top of the bookmaker’s shortlist to win the Lions against the world champion Springboks next summer.
Itoje’s path to South Africa is made difficult by the fact that he hasn’t had top-level rugby this season – and no idea when he’ll even play for relegated Saracens.
He admits shocking himself watching the opening round of the Premiership games this weekend and couldn’t find his club.
« I was like » Where are Saracens? « . . I forgot we were down! » he said. « I don’t really know when we’re going to play again. ”
The rugby football union actually has a start date for the second division championship on Jan.. January set.
That means Itoje will have to rely on England to stay in the shop window in Twickenham from this afternoon for the next two months. But he insists that he don’t panic.
« I am at peace, » he said. « I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the Lion King, but Timon and Pumbaa had a saying called Hakuna Matata . It means no worries’.
« I have a feeling that with things like that where you have no control over the outcome and no control over the planning process, you should try as much as you can to find out for yourself and not to lose sleep Worries or is concerned about X, Y, or Z.. . ”
Armed with that mindset, the 26-year-old will rush to Ireland to keep England on course for a place in the Nations Cup final next month.
« My goal is to be the best player I can be, to continuously improve and expand the limits of my possibilities and possibilities, » he said.
“We know the intensity will soon increase, but my game is based on physicality and work speed and I think there is definitely room for me to get better. ”
Itoje’s approach is reflected in clubmate Billy Vunipola, who said: « We want Ireland to know that we are not looking at this as just another game. « .
« We know they will shoot. (Ireland’s coach) Andy Farrell knows when to inflate the boys’ tires and when to challenge them. « .
« You have chosen a large pack. They want to see if they can undo the benefits of our crush and collapse. It’s a nice challenge for us and one that inspires many guys from the beginning.
« You may not see or hear it, but the way the boys carry themselves shows that we have calm confidence and a little bit of nervous energy that is never bad. ”
England have just about anything to cheer themselves on after two low-key games against Italy and Georgia.
« Ultimately, the team that is most coherent, comes first and wins the big moments, gives themselves the best opportunity, » said defense coach John Mitchell.
ENGLAND: Daly; Joseph, Lawrence, Slade, May; Farrell (Capt), Youngs; M Vunipola, George, Sinckler; Itoje, Launchbury; Curry, Underhill, B Vunipola.
IRELAND: Keenan; Earls, Farrell, Aki, Lowe; R Byrne, Gibson-Park; Healy, Kelleher, Porter; Roux, Ryan (Capt); Stander, O’Mahony, Doris.
Maro Itoje, Saracens, England rugby team, The Lion King, Irish rugby, England club rugby before 16. January
Donnez votre point de vue et aboonez-vous!
Votre point de vue compte, donnez votre avis
[maxbutton id= »1″]