Johnson calls for calm with Itoje

Date published: January 12 2016

Former England captain Martin Johnson has said that Maro Itoje should be allowed to just “get on and play” instead of being hyped up.

The England U20 skipper’s outstanding form in 2015 has put him on the verge of a call-up to Eddie Jones’ first England squad on Wednesday.

Itoje, who can play in the second or back-row, has even been touted as a future England captain.

Johnson however wants the 21-year-old Saracens forward to continue developing without all the speculation.

“I haven’t seen much of Itoje but I have heard a lot about him and people say that he is this and that and I think, ‘just let him get on and play,” Johnson told the Evening Standard.

“If you are good enough then there is nothing wrong with being put in the squad.

“But I get a little bit worried the way that the world is, everyone is believed to be the next big thing very quickly.

“That happened back in our time, too, so just let him go and play and get the experience.”