The two rugby stars have been nominated for British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards.

Maro Itoje and Marcus Smith Nominated for BEDSA Awards

Saracens and England utility forward Maro Itoje and Harlequins youngster Marcus Smith are in the running for British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards, which will be presented this Saturday in London.

The awards are organised by the group Sporting Equals and are designed to celebrate ethnic diversity in professional and lower-level sport. They also celebrate community groups and volunteers in sport.

Itoje has become one of the stars of English rugby, playing a key role for his club Saracens as well as being used in both the second and back rows by England, showing his versatility.

Itoje also played a vital role in the British & Irish Lions tour of New Zealand in 2017. After coming on as a substitute during the first Test, he was promoted to a starting role alongside Alun Wyn Jones for the remaining two matches in the series.

Smith, who is just 19, has become a rising star of English rugby this season.

Widely tipped to be a future England fly-half, Smith has been brought into the national set-up by Eddie Jones as an apprentice.

Nominated for the Young Sports Person of the Year, the teenager has put in strong performances for Harlequins during this campaign.

The BEDSA ceremony takes place on Saturday 24 March in London and here is the full list of nominations:

Sportsman of the Year: Chris Eubank Jr, Mahama Cho, Maro Itoje, Khalid Yafai

Sports Woman of the Year: Kadeena Cox, Ellie Downie, Rachel Choong, Dina Asher-Smith

Young Sports Person of the Year: Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Kare Adenegan, Marcus Smith

Inspirational Performance of the Year: Enaam Ahmed, Mahama Cho, Kadeena Cox

Coach of the Year: Gian Singh Cheema, Fayyaz Caan, Christian Malcolm

Unsung Hero: Ronier Deumeni, Saba Nasim, Tarsem Singh

Community Sports Project of the Year: Muslimah Sports Association, Project Rugby, Singh Sabha Slough

Connecting Communities Award: Lord’s Taverners Wicketz Programme, Women’s Sports Programme Manchester, Active Burngreave/Reach Up Project

Community Tennis Project: Al Madina, Sunnah Sports, SWAT Slough

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