“This is more than a joke”: Maro Itoje’s position in the team was called a “joke”

Saracens’ second row star Maro Itoje starting on the back row has been called a “joke” and a “disrespect for rugby”.

The 28-year-old, who was criticized for his lack of impact against Argentina last weekend, finds himself again starting as a blindside flanker.

The fans, who have asked Eddie Jones to play their star players in their strongest positions, were clearly not happy with the selection.

“I have never seen Itoje getting picked in a World XV at 6. 4 yes but never 6 so not just my opinion,” one follower wrote.

A second commented: “Playing Itoje in the back row and not playing Jack Willis is disrespectful. The biggest embarrassment of all calls.”

“England rugby team everywhere, youngsters still on matchday 22 itoje on the flank coles dropped after 1 game Farrell still at center if you didn’t think about it you would think EJ is trying to lose a totally crazy pick again this team will never play again,” said a third.

rugby scribe bobby bridge He added: “Every ounce of joy gained by England starting van Poortvliet is erased by Jack Willis’ omission against Japan. What else can we learn from the Curry/Itoje combination in the back row? I’m bored writing this, I feel like England are missing out on a unique player.”

When is England vs Japan?

The match between England and Japan will take place at Twickenham Stadium in London on Saturday, November 12, kicking off at 15:15 (GMT).

How can I watch England vs Japan?

The match will not be available on terrestrial television and like the rest of the fall internationals it will be broadcast on Amazon Prime Video.

The England team is expected to play Japan:

15. Freddie Butler

14. Jack Nowell (VC)

13. Goalkeeper Boy

12. Owen Farrell (center)

11. Jonny May

10. Marco Smith

9. Jack van Poortvliet

1. Ellis Genge (VC)

2. Luke Cowan-Dickie

3. Kyle Sinckler

4. David Ribbans

5. Jonny’s Hill

6. Maro Itoje

7. Tom Curry

8.Sam Simmons


16. James George

17. Mako Vunipola

18.Joe Hi

19.Alex Coles

20. Billy Vunipola

21. Ben Young

22.Henry Slade

23. Manu Tuilagi

Warren Gatland’s England XV will face Japan


  • 15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers)
  • 14. Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)
  • 11. Joe Cokanasiga (Bath RFC)
England’s Freddie Steward goes for a try during the Autumn Nations match between England and Australia at Twickenham on 13 November 2021. Photo: Micah Crook/PPAUK


  • In May 2022, Steward was named a Rugby Players Association. Player’s Young Player of the Year Y England Men’s Player of the Season
  • In April 2017, Nowell was called up for the 2017 British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand, becoming the first player selected from Exeter Chiefs by the Lions.
  • Cokanasiga was born in Fiji but before he was three years old he moved to England with his father, Ilaitia, who was in the British Army.


  • 13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
  • 12. Manu Tuilagi (Sharks for Sale)
England’s Manu Tuilagi during the Autumn Nations match between England and Tonga at Twickenham Stoop on 6 November 2021. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK


  • He was named Manusamoa, after the Samoan national team name Manu Samoa, because his brother Freddie was selected for Samoa in the 1991 World Cup, the year Manu was born.


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