Daly wary of the danger Piutau poses
NOT that they needed it, but with impeccable timing Charles Piutau once again reminded Wasps fans what they are missing last weekend.
Ulster’s All Black full-back, who is set to become rugby’s first £1 million man when he joins Bristol at the end of the season, created a sublime 70-metre counter-attack try for Jacob Stockdale during the Pro-14 clash with Connacht.
And his black-and-gold followers can be forgiven for looking at this action with envious eyes, since it seems barely five minutes since Piutau was pulling off similarly thrilling escapades in their club’s colours.
But at the same time, they are probably also hoping the 25-year-old has a rare off day tonight, when he lines up against his former employers in the opening round of pool one European Champions Cup action.
Piutau’s team-mates from his year in Coventry had the opportunity to scrutinise him more closely and on a more regular basis than the fans, but according to Elliot Daly that still makes him far from easy to read.
“His unpredictability is what stands out – anything is on at any time,” the England back said. “He is strong at close quarters and has good acceleration as well.
“We will have to be looking carefully at him, and hopefully we can shut him down. He is a great guy – someone you just pass the ball to and he does something special.
“It would be nice if he was on our side. He is a quality player, brings that experience, that something out of nothing.”
Like Piutau, Daly has the footballing skills to cover a range of positions in the backline.
Having started at full-back, he has become a fixture in Wasps’ No.13 shirt, then gone on to become an England regular and British Lions test starter on the wing.
However, just in case anyone thought his talents had an end, he is also currently on stand-by to fill in for his club at fly-half, which has entailed learning a few new skills.
“I was covering No.10 against Saracens,” Daly revealed.
“The main extra thing is needing to know whether it is a four-man, five-man or six-man lineout, then making sure we call the right thing in the right areas.”