Daly con­fi­dent he can do an in­side job

Warwickshire Telegraph - - SPORT - Paul Smith Wasps re­porter paul.smith01@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

FEW would doubt that Wasps cen­tre El­liot Daly al­ready pos­sesses a wide range of on-field skills.

His boss Dai Young, his team­mates and Wasps’ fans have long ad­mired his eye for a gap, elec­tric pace, ac­cu­rate dis­tri­bu­tion and re­li­able de­fence.

More re­cently, Eng­land’s new boss Ed­die Jones has been added to the Daly fan club dur­ing a sea­son when the 23-yearold won his first cap as part of the Grand Slam win­ning lineup.

One of the key fac­tors in Daly mak­ing Eng­land’s bench dur­ing the Six Na­tions was his flex­i­bil­ity to cover a range of po­si­tions in­clud­ing in­side cen­tre, and the like­able Croy­don-born mid­fielder ad­mits this has re­quired him to quickly learn new skills.

“Play­ing at No.12 is def­i­nitely some­thing I’d like to look at in the fu­ture,” says Daly, who re­placed Jonathan Joseph for the fi­nal 15 min­utes of Eng­land’s 27-13 Twick­en­ham win against Wales at the week­end.

“I have al­ways been pi­geon­holed as an out­side cen­tre or full back, but now I think I’ve shown I can play at in­side cen­tre as well.

“That’s a good thing, as it in­creases your flex­i­bil­ity as a player, and by play­ing there a lit­tle I have learned what you need to do to give space to the No.13. When I’m back at out­side cen­tre, this then also helps me to know what the No.12 is look­ing to do.

“I had al­ways thought I would be able to play at 12, but with the per­son­nel we’ve had at the club and when I’ve played for the Sax­ons, I’ve al­ways fallen into the No.13 shirt.”

Since the end of the Six Na­tions, Daly has spent brief pe­ri­ods at in­side cen­tre for his club, usu­ally in the lat­ter stages of matches fol- low­ing re­or­gan­i­sa­tion fol­low­ing in­jury, and has looked en­tirely com­fort­able there.

An­other part of his game to which the same de­scrip­tion can be ap­plied is goal-kick­ing, and it was in­ter­est­ing to note that the Eng­land cen­tre fin­ished the Premier­ship sea­son with a record that showed 13 suc­cess­ful kicks from 20 at­tempts.

At first glance this ap­pears a lit­tle on the low side, since top kick­ers’ strike rates ex­ceed 80 per cent, but since Daly is only thrown the kick­ing tee from in ex­cess of 45 me­tres, it is ac­tu­ally

El­liot Daly fends off Jamie Roberts dur­ing his Twick­en­ham cameo for Eng­land on Sun­day.

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