Maro Itoje excited about Toulon challenge

Saracens' Maro Itoje is preparing to face Toulon on Saturday
Saracens' Maro Itoje is preparing to face Toulon on Saturday
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Saracens lock Maro Itoje aspires to maintain a new run of winning streak as he heads into the European Rugby Champions Cup game against Toulon.

The 21-year-old was on a 30-match winning streak, which included victories in Aviva Premiership, Champions Cup knock out games, Grand Slam and a 3-0 series whitewash in Australia. However, it came to an end when Saracens lost to Harlequins last month.

Despite, the setback, Saracens went on to win the next two games and are currently enjoying their stay at the top of the Aviva Premiership table with five wins from six games. Admitting with every defeat, he learns something new, Itoje wants to continue evolving with every game he plays.

"Obviously losing was going to come one day. I would love for my career to have gone without me losing a game but unfortunately rugby isn't a fairytale," Itoje said.

"We've bounced back well from that. We improved our performance against Bristol then stepped up another level against Wasps.

"Those bumps in the road happen, but the most important thing is to ensure you learn from it and from the mistakes you made and why the outcome was the outcome.

"As long as you learn from your defeats and you use them as an opportunity to get better, I think it's OK.

"My reaction is to try and be balanced about it. I watch every game back and see where we could have done better, try and figure out with the coaches where we allowed them to get the ascendancy.

"For me, bumps will happen. It is about using them to get better, not whining or complaining about it, but using that as a motivation to grow."

The French heavyweight Toulon emerged victorious in the 2014 Champions Cup final clash against Saracens but things have changed since then. The Sarries have been in phenomenal form following their double triumph of Aviva Premiership and Champions Cup wins last season but Itoje feels playing Toulon at their backyard will be one of their biggest challenge.

"Obviously losing was going to come one day. I would love for my career to have gone without me losing a game but unfortunately rugby isn't a fairytale," Itoje said.

"We've bounced back well from that. We improved our performance against Bristol then stepped up another level against Wasps.

"Those bumps in the road happen, but the most important thing is to ensure you learn from it and from the mistakes you made and why the outcome was the outcome.

"As long as you learn from your defeats and you use them as an opportunity to get better, I think it's OK.

"My reaction is to try and be balanced about it. I watch every game back and see where we could have done better, try and figure out with the coaches where we allowed them to get the ascendancy.

"For me, bumps will happen. It is about using them to get better, not whining or complaining about it, but using that as a motivation to grow."

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