Itoje named European Player of the Year


Saracens lock Maro Itoje has been named European Player of the Year for 2016, following a stunning season with club and country.

The 21-year-old was the man of the match in Lyon on Saturday as Saracens won the European Champions Cup for the first time with a 21-9 victory over Racing 92.

That success followed a Six Nations campaign in which Itoje not only made his England debut, but also quickly established himself as a leading performer for Eddie Jones' side.

And Itoje - also man of the match in Saracens' Champions Cup quarter-final and semi-final victories - has now been confirmed as the fourth successive English winner of European club rugby's premier individual prize.

He succeeds Clermont Auvergne's Nick Abendanon, with Jonny Wilkinson and Steffon Armitage having earned the honour in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

Itoje was selected ahead of 14 fellow nominees, including Sarries and England team-mates George Kruis, Billy Vunipola and Owen Farrell.