England boss Eddie Jones has outlined his leadership plans for Maro Itoje after winning his 50th cap during the recent autumn internationals.
Itoje is one of the figureheads in Jones’ England side that came out on top in all three autumn Tests against Tonga, Australia and South Africa – with the last fixture particularly enthralling.
Despite being one of the key man, Jones at this particular time does not view the lock as a future captain of the national side, despite showcasing his leadership qualities when he captained the Under-20s to World Cup glory in 2014.
Jones ‘ new book titled “Leadership: Lessons From My Life in Rugby:, documents his views on Itoje, 27, who he believes is “inward-looking” and thinks does not help others develop off the field.
He explained further: “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.
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“Maro might be able to develop this skill and relate to people even more effectively, but he has work to do here. We’ve sent Maro to acting classes, which is having a beneficial effect.”
The 61-year-old went on to explain why he feels the acting lessons will help his player develop leadership qualities he feels are needed to lead the national side.
“He speaks more influentially now, and I am hopeful he can develop more communication and leadership skills. Acting brings Maro out of himself”, he continued.
“The acting classes are a practical step to helping Maro and others share that internal fire and magic which makes them special.
“We’re always looking to see if we can develop these traits and find the right mix of leaders.”
Itoje’s performances on the field however, cannot be questioned as he has made the shortlist for the World Rugby Player of the Year for the third time in his career so far.
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The Saracens star will hope to beat France s Antoine Dupont, as well as the Australia duo of Michael Hooper and Samu Kerevi in a public vote before the winner is named next month.
Itoje, earned his 51st England cap in last Saturday’s 27-26 victory over world champions South Africa at Twickenham, while he was also a constant in the British and Irish Lions team that lost its series 2-1 to South Africa this past summer.