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Maro Itoje didn’t hesitate in naming his toughest opponent, he couldn’t get close

Maro Itoje didn’t hesitate in naming his toughest opponent, he couldn’t get close

Maro Itoje, the formidable lock for England, the British and Irish Lions and Saracens, tends not to praise his opponents.

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When asked by The Times to name his toughest opponent, he was less than open with his answer.

“Good question,” he replied. “The other second row, outside the locks in England, that I appreciate the most is probably… To be honest, I don’t like complimenting people in my position.

“I don’t even want to give them the compliment. I think we’ll leave it at that.”

However, during other interviews, the 26-year-old has given an inside look at some of his opponents.

He didn’t involve Eben Etzebeth…

#3. Charles Piutau

A dynamic and versatile rugby sensation, Charles Piutau hails from New Zealand and has lit up rugby fields around the world with his electrifying pace and exceptional skills. Known for his spells with the All Blacks and Bristol Bears, Piutau is a real game changer in the rugby world.

Itoje said:For me, it’s always those fast guys that you can’t quite get a hold of that definitely cause me the most problems. I’m not sure if I played against him this year, but Piutau is a real handful.”

#2. Alun Wyn Jones

Alun Wyn Jones, the Welsh rugby legend and embodiment of leadership, has earned his place among the greats of the sport. A seasoned striker, he has captained the Welsh national team as well as the British and Irish Lions, demonstrating unwavering commitment and indomitable spirit on the pitch.

Itoje said: “He was on another level. I have a lot of respect and admiration for Alun Wyn, and I have always preferred having him as a teammate rather than competing against him. It’s a shame I probably won’t play with him anymore now.

“It looked like it was made in a lab.”

#1. Steve Borthwick

Steve Borthwick, former international and renowned England rugby coach, has made a seamless transition into coaching after a successful playing career. His strategic insights and coaching skills have had a significant impact on teams such as England and Leicester Tigers, earning him respect in the rugby coaching fraternity.

Itoje said: “I thought I could beat him on speed, just on physicality. But I couldn’t get close. Not only was he technically brilliant, but also the intelligence of how he called, found space and manipulated opponents.”

Steve Borthwick, England Rugby head coach during the England Rugby Captains Run ahead of the Six Nations Match between Wales and England at the Principality Stadium, London on February 24, 2023 (Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)

Mike Tindall is one of the richest rugby men with a huge net worth

The world of rugby isn’t just about breathtaking tries and fierce tackles; it is also an empire where fortunes are made. Here is the overview of the top 10 richest rugby players at the moment:

10. Owen Farrell – £1.46 million ($2 million)
Saracens are making waves in the Premier League and Owen Farrell, their skipper, is reaping the benefits. The majority of his net worth, a whopping £1.46 million, comes directly from his commitment to Saracens.

9. Maro Itoje – £1.46 million ($2 million)
Maro Itoje, teammate of Farrell’s at both England and Saracens, is on course to become one of rugby’s highest earners. His salary, comparable to that of the national skipper, shows his potential.

8. Charles Piutau – £1.85 million ($2.5 million)
Former All Blacks player Charles Piutau’s move to Bristol Bears came with an eye-watering salary. The club’s investment in him over his five seasons speaks volumes about his impact.