Owen Farrell will thrive as England captain, according to Saracens team-mate Maro Itoje.

Farrell will lead England's tour of South Africa this month with regular skipper Dylan Hartley ruled out due to concussion.

The Saracens fly-half first captained Eddie Jones' side during the Six Nations against France, and Itoje believes the "smart" 26-year-old raises his level when given the added responsibility.

"I think Owen plays better when he's captain. He normally speaks well, but I think he speaks better as captain," Itoje explained.

"He has a holistic approach to the game. I haven't met many, if any, smarter rugby players than him. I know for a fact, having played under him before, that he is going to do very well in the role."

Farrell is renowned for the stern glares directed at team-mates after errors on the pitch, with Itoje believing these show his suitability for captaincy.

"We all get that, but that's what it's about," he said. "We have to hold each other to account.

"Owen pushes the standards, which is probably why Eddie has put him in that role."