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Rugby Pod verdict on rumoured hefty Maro Itoje pay cut at Saracens

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Peter Nicholls/Getty Images)

Former Scotland lock Jim Hamilton and England out-half Andy Goode have weighed in on the speculation surrounding the future of Maro Itoje at Saracens.

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Clubs in the Gallagher Premiership are now restricted to having just one marquee player wage outside the salary cap and with the current deals for Owen Farrell and Itoje set to expire at the end of the 2023/24 season, something has got to give at the London outfit.

It has been reported that England skipper Farrell will be offered a fresh marquee status deal, meaning Itoje would have to leave Saracens to keep earning a similar wage or else take a hefty pay cut.

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Itoje has in the past been linked with a switch to the Top 14 but Hamilton, his ex-second row teammate at Saracens, believes he won’t cross the Channel at the end of this season and will instead agree to reduced terms to play on at the StoneX in order to remain eligible for England selection.

The topic came up for discussion on the latest episode of The Rugby Pod, the weekly show hosted by the World Rugby Content Studios presenter and Goode, his former Leicester Tigers colleague.

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Here is how their conversation about Itoje unfolded:

Hamilton: That is because of the marquee. So the marquee, they are still sticking with one marquee and Maro and Owen are the marquees, so Owen will stick as the marquee and I thought Maro Itoje would leave Saracens. That would be my thought process around that. Highly sought after, but hasn’t kind of been on the form that he was.

Goode: He has over the last few games.

Hamilton: Well, there you go, he is out of contract, he knows what he is doing. Does he have the gravitas of someone like Siya Kolisi? No. Was he on that kind of trajectory of having that? I felt he was and he has dropped off slightly, but would someone in France want him for a million pounds? Probably. Or Japan. But France probably more so. The Top 14 would look to bend over backwards to take Maro Itoje for their team, but everything is pointing towards him is now going to take a 50 per cent pay cut.

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Goode: Are you announcing that he has signed, Jim? He’s staying?

Hamilton: No. I have got no idea. This is what I am reading. The rumours, if we can talk about rumours.

Goode: I thought you mentored him?

Hamilton: I mentored him and then he didn’t like me after we started. I don’t know. He unfollowed me on social media and we will come onto people unfollowing and blocking; Joe Marler who looks like he has already retired at the weekend, but we will come onto that. Yeah, I don’t know. I respect Maro, I like him, I thought he would have left Saracens. It seemed to me like he needed a freshen-up but everything is pointing towards him staying at a 50 per cent pay cut, whatever that is.

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Comments

4 Comments
B
BigMaul 208 days ago

Saracens benefitting from their cheating again. Pay Maro loads up front, beyond the means of the cap. Then he takes a massive pay cut when Sarries need to stay in the cap. Convenient.

C
Colin 208 days ago

Having watched OF play for club and captain country, I have no idea why he is rated so highly. So many better 10s in Premiership.

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