Maro Itoje European is Player of the Year

Saracens and England lock Maro Itoje has been named European Player of the Year.

Itoje, 21, was man of the match in Saracens’s victory over Racing 92 in the European Champions Cup final in Lyon on Saturday.

He becomes the fourth England international to win the award after Jonny Wilkinson, Steffon Armitage and Nick Abendanon.

Itoje came out on top from a 15-strong list of nominees, which included five other players – Saracens colleagues Owen Farrell, George Kruis and Billy Vunipola, plus Racing’s Dan Carter and Juan Imhoff – who were involved in Saturday’s final.

Itoje, who was also a key figure in England’s RBS 6 Nations title and Grand Slam-winning campaign this term, will now set his sights on achieving a possible domestic and European trophy double with Saracens.

After conquering Europe, Saracens return to Aviva Premiership business next weekend when they tackle play-off opponents Leicester at Allianz Park.

If Saracens topple the Tigers, they will meet Exeter or Wasps in the Premiership final at Twickenham on May 28.

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