England Rugby World Cup star wants to become a politician and took aim at Tories

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England Rugby World Cup star Maro Itoje has admitted that he considering a move into politics once he calls it a day on his sporting career, firing a dig at the Conservative Party in the process. Itoje, 28, has started both of England’s opening games in France as they recorded victories over Argentina and Japan.

Despite the lock being one of Steve Borthwick’s most integral stars, he already has an eye on his future away from rugby. However, with the usual path for top rugby players being coaching or punditry, Itoje has insisted that he has no interest in either and instead broadened his options into politics, business and the arts.

In an interview with Men’s Health in 2022, he said: “I started thinking about post-rugby a few years ago. How you transition, what I might do, how to have a stable financial situation. It’s important to plan ahead. I try not to be identified exclusively as a rugby player. I want success in a sphere independent from rugby.

“I’m interested in politics, I am interested in business, I am interested in certain charities, I am interested in art. I would want to keep a connection to rugby, but I won’t be a coach, I wouldn’t want to be a pundit.”

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Having been interviewed at the time by Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s former communications guru, Itoje gave his view on the political landscape: “I feel as if we are in a state where we don’t have a government that is impressive, but the opposition is not making a compelling enough case.

“If there were an election tomorrow, I think the Tories would win. I would vote Labour this time. I think Keir Starmer is a serious politician. He doesn’t have the charisma of [Boris] Johnson, but he is a serious and more endearing politician, with a deeper feel and affection for the country.”

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When asked to describe his leadership style, Itoje added: “There is no one way to lead. Tony Blair led differently to Gordon Brown or Margaret Thatcher. He [Boris Johnson] is very different, yeah.”

Having distanced himself from the Tories’ political views, Itoje has rarely hidden his opinion and recently spoke out on the controversial ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’ that has long been adopted as a favourite of England rugby fans.

The song’s origins are rooted in US slavery and Itoje has claimed that he will no longer sing it. In conversation with L’Equipe, he said: “I sang it before when I was naive and didn’t know its origins but, knowing now the context in the creation of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, it’s not an anthem that I’m going to repeat anymore.”

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