The England star joins sporting arm of rapper's management and entertainment company

Maro Itoje joins Jay-Z’s Roc Nation group

Thanks to his abrasive style of play, it was already a hard knock life for Maro Itoje – and now the England and Saracens star has signed up with Roc Nation, the management and entertainment company founded by US rap mogul Jay-Z.

Itoje joins South Africa heroes Siya Kolisi and Cheslin Kolbe in signing with Roc Nation Sports. In a tweet to announce the move, the group posted this video – including an introduction from none other than DJ Khaled – with the words: “From Camden Town to the International stage. Welcoming the newest addition to our rugby family, Maro Itoje! #RocFam”

Interestingly, in the summer, both Kolisi and Itoje were named in the top five of Rugby World‘s most influential people in rugby list.

Related: Siya Kolisi named most influential person in rugby

In the magazine, Stephen Jones wrote at the time: “Siya Kolisi, of South Africa – but now one of rugby’s universal soldiers – stands at No 1 in our most influential list, with Maro Itoje close behind at No 3. Here we have two wonderful men, two men who have always transcended the sport itself, because not only are they both spectacularly good players but they know where the sport fits in the general landscape and are clever enough to be influential away from the rectangle of play.”

Roc Nations Sports now have three of the biggest names likely to be in the thick of the action when the Springboks host the British & Irish Lions next year.

Related: Does rugby need superstar names to challenge global market?

The group have significant star power already.

It will be interesting to see how they grow the brand of their rugby players in the coming years.

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