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Itoje named Lions' player of the series after impressing against Boks

The 26-year-old is almost certain to be a key man again in 2025.

Itoje was superb in South Africa.
Itoje was superb in South Africa.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

MARO ITOJE HAS been named the Lions’ player of the series after his outstanding performances on their tour in South Africa.

26-year-old Itoje started all three Tests in the second row alongside captain Alun Wyn Jones and though he couldn’t drive the Lions to success, Itoje was in superb form.

The England international was on his second Lions tour and will hope to be a key man again in 2025 for the trip to Australia, when he will still be only 30.

In total, Itoje made six appearances for the Lions in their 2021 campaign, playing 402 minutes – behind only Duhan van der Merwe, Courtney Lawes, and Elliot Daly.

Itoje made 39 carries, beat eight defenders, offloaded twice, and passed the ball 20 times, while he had an 89% tackle success rate.

The Lions lock gave up seven penalties and conceded four turnovers but he earned six turnovers for the Lions – three jackal steals at the breakdown and three strips in the tackle.

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Itoje was the Lions’ primary lineout caller and claimed 22 of their throws, while also producing four lineouts steals.

As well as being a two-time Lion, the Saracens man has earned 48 caps for England. He will be back playing in the Premiership next season after Sarries’ year down in the Championship in 2020/21.

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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