sport news Maro Itoje is not at his snarling best, he needs to take a rest

Failure to produce an English semi-finalist in Europe highlights bad year The likes of Maro Itoje and Mako Vunipola are in need of a break after long year English players have not had enough rest since the Lions tour last summer

By Sir Clive Woodward for the Daily Mail

Published: 22:34 BST, 1 April 2018 | Updated: 22:34 BST, 1 April 2018

View
comments

That was a fantastically gutsy effort from Saracens, but ultimately they were well-beaten by a high-class Leinster team.

The Premiership’s failure to produce a European Cup semi-finalist sums up a poor season for England and English rugby.

We have been asking our top players to do too much too often and in the season after a Lions tour we have seen the consequences with fresher Irish players — rested more often domestically — underpinning Leinster and Munster’s campaigns, while many Scarlets missed out on the New Zealand tour.

Maro Itoje epitomises English players who need a rest after non-stop rugby since Lions tour

Maro Itoje epitomises English players who need a rest after non-stop rugby since Lions tour

That’s an observation, not a criticism. I am a huge admirer of Maro Itoje, for example. I see in him the new Martin Johnson and when I say he’s not at his very peak at present I speak as a sympathetic coach who has seen it happen to other outstanding players.

Maro is not the snarling, supercharged

read more from dailymail.....

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

PREV sport news New Zealand vs England, second Test day four LIVE scorecard
NEXT sport news The loss against Tottenham was the day Chelsea manager Antonio Conte ran out of ...