Itoje vows England will raise spirits of nation during upcoming lockdown

Maro Itoje vowed to keep the spirits of the nation up through Lockdown, the sequel, after England won rugby’s Six Nations.

Eddie Jones’ team, champions for a third time in five years, contest the Autumn Nations Cup through November.

Itoje said: “For us to put smiles on people’s faces we need to play good rugby, conduct ourselves in the right manner and win – because when  England win matches people are genuinely happy.

“The world is here, there and everywhere at the moment. A lot of things aren’t straightforward.

England hope to have lifted spirits of nation with Six Nations triumph

“Sport has the power to unite people, to put a smile on faces, to lighten the mood when people are going through tough times.

“That’s one of the greatest things we, as an England team, can do.”

The feelgood factor provided by English rugby continued with the Red Roses claiming a second successive Women’s Six Nations Grand Slam with a 54-0 win over Italy in Parma.

Maro Itoje: ‘Sport has the power to unite people’

Grand Slam-winning England Women’s captain Emily Scarratt

Emily Scarratt’s side were already champions, thanks to four straight wins in February and March, but were intent on finishing the job in style.

Tries by Ellie Kildunne, Poppy Cleall, Scarratt and Abbie Ward before half-time were followed after the break by further scores from Sarah Bern, Jess Breach, Leanne Riley and Marlie Packer.

Scarratt said: “It was really important we kept our foot on the gas and did ourselves justice. It was a really nice team performance.”

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