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Maro Itoje opens up about the state of Rugby and reveals his plans to run a club one day

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At a time when rugby is crying out for bright minds and innovative, inspirational figures to transform the fortunes of the sport, Maro Itoje has good news about his post-playing plans.

The Saracens lock is only 27, but he is already working out what lies ahead after his retirement from active service. ‘I wanted to stay connected to rugby, but I don’t want to be a coach or a pundit,’ he tells Sportsmail. ‘I’m interested in the executive side of the game; helping to run a club — that type of thing.’ It is easy to imagine him being a smart, dynamic presence in boardrooms, and helping to galvanise rugby, which is desperate for new leaders to drag it out of the mire.

But to put this part of his vision in context, Itoje has plenty more on his personal agenda. England and Saracens lock Maro Itoje revealed he plans to enter the executive side of rugby ‘I’m going to be involved in a few different businesses and I want to continue with philanthropic work,’ he adds. ‘I will probably look to travel more and spend time in Nigeria and other African countries.

And hopefully I will have a family by then too, so hopefully I will be able to spend a bit of time with my family. ‘You have to make hay when the sun shines, focus on rugby and devote your life to it as much as possible, but at the same time you have to prepare for what is coming next.

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