Maro Itoje and Mako Vunipola ‘will make good decisions’ over Saracens future

Mako Vunipola, left, and Maro Itoje both played for England in last year’s World Cup final

Saracens forwards Maro Itoje and Mako Vunipola will consider their international future when deciding whether to stay at the relegated club, says England defence coach John Mitchell.

Itoje and Vunipola are yet to commit another season to Sarries, who were relegated to the Championship after salary cap breaches.

Vunipola’s brother Billy has confirmed he will stay at Allianz Park along with fellow internationals hooker Jamie George and back Elliot Daly.

“I’m quite confident both of them [Itoje and Vunipola] will make good decisions,” said Mitchell.

“Decisions that are right for them and their families but also what’s right for them in terms of playing Test rugby for England, because they are two guys who love playing for England.

“I’m sure [England head coach] Eddie [Jones], as he is very good at, is guiding them and helping them. They’ll probably seek his advice at some point.”

Nine Saracens players represented England at the 2019 World Cup and there is no rule prohibiting Championship players from playing for the country.

The Premiership season is currently suspended because of coronavirus and Rugby Football Union (RFU) chief executive Bill Sweeney has suggested England’s tour of Japan, scheduled for July, could be moved to October.

England’s 2020 Six Nations campaign is yet to be completed, with their final game against Italy postponed and the side is supposed to host four Tests at Twickenham in November.

There have been reports that the RFU is drawing up plans for rugby to be played without tackling, scrummaging and mauling next season to allow for a quicker return to play and Mitchell believes any changes will make coaching “exciting”.

“Clearly, there’ll be some changes, but I think it’s going to be a fascinating period to get started again because we will be preparing it in a different way,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“I’m sure once we understand the constraints, then it’s going to be really refreshing and quite challenging to create sessions and drills around smaller numbers, and how we get to the same point of game exposure, so this is going to be really, really cool.

“I think it’s going to be quite an exciting period of coaching.”

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