Daily Mirror


- BY ALEX SPINK Rugby Correspond­ent @alexspinkm­irror

ELLIOT DALY insists outside-centre remains his favourite position as England search to fill the gap left by Joe Marchant.

The 64-cap star burst onto the scene in the 13 shirt at Wasps, but has spent the majority of his career with Saracens and England at either wing or full-back.

Marchant made the position his own at the World Cup, but is now ineligible for selection after joining Paris-based Stade Francais.

That leaves a hole for Red Rose boss Steve Borthwick to fill when England’s Six Nation campaign kicks off in Italy in 10 weeks, and

Daly’s hand is already up.

The 31-year-old said: “I love 13 –

13 is my favourite position, especially in the Premiershi­p where you get your hands on the ball more. You’re always involved in the game.

“I grew up playing 13. It’s easy for me to slot back in there if needed.”

Daly has started only four Tests at 13 in eight years, but began the first Test there against South Africa for the British and Irish Lions in 2021.

Henry Slade, surprising­ly overlooked for the World Cup, will be in contention again.

Manu Tuilagi, Ollie Lawrence and Guy Porter have also worn 13.

But Alex Lozowski’s ACL injury means Daly is likely to get an extended run in midfield for England’s champion club and that is a sure-fire way to get noticed.

On Saturday, even in a misfiring team, Saracens scored seven tries to beat Bristol 39-31 and move second behind leaders Sale. Their fifth successive league win came despite Owen Farrell, England’s record points scorer, missing six kicks at goal in a game for the first time in his career.

“Owen is one of the best kickers in the world, he will know what to fix,” Daly (top) said.

Farrell missed five conversion­s and a penalty, and had a drop goal attempt charged down. He missed four of six for England against Wales in the Six Nations, which he blamed on “overthinki­ng”.

South Africa World Cup winner Handre Pollard (left) missed only one kick from eight attempts as Leicester claimed a moraleboos­ting 38-20 victory over Gloucester.

Pollard said: “We weren’t perfect, but we stuck at it. There is a transition going on with new coaching staff and internatio­nals coming back, but everyone is chipping in to make us get better week by week.”

Exeter Chiefs came from behind to claim their first away Premiershi­p win of the season at Kingston Park yesterday.

Slade and prop Josh Iosefa-Scott both crossed in the final quarter to secure a 20-14 win over Newcastle Falcons. The Chiefs are now third, with winless Falcons stuck at the bottom of the table.

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