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'I've tested the jaw out' - Itoje details extent of his jaw reconstruction

Maro Itoje has four metal plates in his jaw but insists he is ready for a whatever Ospreys throw at the Saracens lock in tomorrow’s vital European Challenge Cup clash in Wales.

Itoje broke his jaw against Harlequins a month ago but returned to action with those metal plates in the left side of his jaw and below his mouth in the Premiership win over Wasps last weekend.

Now, he goes head to head with British and Irish Lions roommate Alun Wyn Jones who formed the second row with the England forward in the final two tests of the drawn series in New Zealand.

Itoje is confident he is ready for a match Sarries must win to keep their hopes of a third successive Champions Cup triumph alive and said:

“I tested the jaw out quite a bit before I had any game time and by the Wasps match I was doing my mauling, high and low tackles and carries into contact.”

That wasn’t in my mind at all and if you are thinking like that then you really shouldn’t be playing and you will double your chance of actually getting injured.

Credit: Sarries TV

In a situation like that, my jaw would probably be all right and I would end up injuring something else because I wasn’t fully committed to the cause.

“If you have that worry it is probably better you don’t play and give yourself another week to get right. Fortunately, I didn’t feel like that and was fit to go last weekend. “

Itoje and Billy Vunipola returned from injury against Wasps and now Lion and Wales wing Liam Williams, having recovered from the groin injury he suffered on international duty in the Autumn tests, is in the Sarries back line in Swansea.

Itoje knows that Williams will relish the chance to play against his Welsh teammates an expects something special from the former Scarlets favourite.

“ Liam is back and he has that X-factor and is a fantastic player. He has quality in abundance and is one of the most naturally gifted rugby players, great in the air, quick and deceptively strong for a man who is so thin,” said Itoje.

“He is a great addition to the squad.”

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'I've tested the jaw out' - Itoje details extent of his jaw reconstruction | RugbyPass