Itoje ready for Bok clash

Date published: August 10 2016

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England second-row Maro Itoje is confident his team can beat South Africa for the first time in 10 years when they face off in November.

Itoje, who was part of an impressive 3-0 series win in Australia in June, enjoyed an outstanding season for both club and country in 2015/16.

And now he is targeting an end to the drought against the Springboks as England prepare for their end-of-year internationals at Twickenham.

"Obviously South Africa have a great rugby tradition and they've a pretty good record against us in recent years," he told England Rugby.

"The challenge for us is to change that and I think we have a squad, a coaching staff and a backroom staff which is capable of doing that and we have to put in that hard work from now until November to do that."

Itoje won Premiership, Champions Cup and Six Nations Grand Slam silverware to go with his European Player of the Year award last season and admits he cannot wait to return to the field for his country in November.

"I think motivation wise when you play for England it's always rocket high regardless of who we're playing, whether we're playing Old Millhillians or South Africa it's going to be sky-high," said the athletic second-row.

"It's going to be very exciting, it's a great challenge and a great prospect hopefully, playing at Twickenham is always special."

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