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Eddie Jones explains why he doesn’t see Maro Itoje as a future England captain

Eddie Jones Maro Itoje

Eddie Jones has admitted that he doesn’t believe Maro Itoje will become England’s captain in the future as he is very “inward looking”.

Itoje has long been touted as a future England captain, as well as a potential future captain of the British and Irish Lions, having previously captained his country at U20 level.

Although many have backed him to lead at the highest level, he has said that he does not “clamour for the role of captain”, and that if he were to do so he would potentially be wanting the honour for the wrong reasons.

England head coach Jones was speaking to The Times and explained that he doesn’t believe Itoje will captain his country in the future unless he develops his ability to influence people.

Eddie Jones on Maro Itoje’s leadership abilities.

“I might be wrong, but I am not sure Maro is a future England captain. He is going to be one of the great players, but Maro is very inward-looking. He drives himself rather than anyone else. He doesn’t usually influence people off the field,” Jones explained.

“Maro might be able to develop this skill and relate to people even more effectively, but he has work to do here. He has the intelligence to do it and so no door is closed to him.

“At the same time, no door is automatically open to him either. We’ll just keep reviewing his role and his contribution and see where it slots into the process and the organisation.

“We’ve sent Maro to acting classes, which is having a beneficial effect. He speaks more influentially now, and I am hopeful he can develop more communication and leadership skills. Acting brings Maro out of himself.”

The England lock still has time to develop his leadership skills.

Jones’ comments may come as a surprise to many who believe that Itoje is an outstanding candidate to lead his country one day, although those who have played under the Australian coach have often praised his honesty.

Not everyone has praised how Jones behaves towards his players, although Itoje is surely comfortable with him now, having spent his entire England career with the 61-year-old as head coach.

While he may not currently have what it takes to captain his country, Itoje has plenty of time to develop his leadership skills as he is still just 27-years-old.

Even Alun Wyn Jones only became Wales’ full-time captain in 2017 at the age of 31, at which stage he had already won over 100 caps for his country.

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