Daly wary of the dan­ger Pi­u­tau poses

Coventry Telegraph - - RUGBY -

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.”

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