13 December 2022

“It felt as if the air around Twickenham was shaking…”

Maro Itoje, England rugby star

Our guest today is Maro Itoje, the England and Saracens rugby player and Frieze London committee member.

Maro has won four English Premiership titles with Saracens, three European Rugby Champions Cup titles, three Six Nations titles, and has played in a world cup final — that agonizing defeat, of course, to South Africa, which we talked about a bit during our conversation. On top of that, he’s been selected for two British & Irish Lions tours, and in the second of these was voted the Lions Player of the Series. Off the pitch, he’s a huge collector of African art and has curated an exhibition with Sotheby’s — and eventually, he tells us, he’d like to open up a London gallery of his very own.

In a highly enjoyable episode, we talk about the origins of his ‘Pearl’ nickname; the fragile state of Premiership Rugby; the psychological tricks of England Coach Eddie Jones; and the last days of Roger Federer.