Ver­sa­til­ity tak­ing Daly’s game to next level

The Rugby Paper - - News - By NEALE HAR­VEY

EL­LIOT Daly in­sists play­ing Test rugby on the wing while wear­ing No.13 for Wasps has made him a far more po­tent weapon ahead of Eng­land’s tour of South Africa.

Daly favours his more fa­mil­iar No.13 jer­sey but since be­ing switched to the wing by Ed­die Jones in Novem­ber 2016, the 25-yearold speed­ster has notched eight tries in 12 games for Eng­land and starred for the Lions there in three Tests against New Zealand.

Daly be­lieves his ver­sa­til­ity, al­lied to in­creased pace, will present a greater threat on the hard grounds of South Africa. He told

TRP: “I feel a more rounded player for play­ing in dif­fer­ent po­si­tions and I played a bit at full-back for Wasps when I was younger so it helps you un­der­stand what every­one needs from each other.

“I’ve played at 13 most of my life and that’s my favoured po­si­tion, but I’ve played on the wing in my last 18 months un­der Ed­die Jones and re­ally en­joyed it.

“Ed­die puts me there but tells me he wants me to play like a cen­tre and to try and get my hands on the ball as much as pos­si­ble. I try to get as many touches as I can and keep things as sim­ple as pos­si­ble.

“I find that know­ing what I need from play­ers in­side me and vice-versa helps give me an all-round game that you can work on. We do a lot of speed work with Wasps and Eng­land as well and I’ve been try­ing to get even quicker, so hope­fully it will all pay off.”

An an­kle in­jury suf­fered on club duty in De­cem­ber meant Daly missed Eng­land’s first three Six Na­tions games. How­ever, that lay-off, along with the en­light­ened ap­proach of Wasps boss Dai Young, should en­sure he is fit, fresh and fir­ing go­ing to South Africa.

While last year’s Lions tour has taken a toll on some, Daly said: “Dai was very good and I got two more weeks off than other boys around the coun­try, which was great be­cause it gave me no pres­sure to come back and be at my best straight away.

“He gave me ex­tra time to train and make sure I was okay be­fore I came back into the Pre­mier­ship in week three, which will hope­fully pay big div­i­dends now. The an­kle in­jury was just un­for­tu­nate but I feel fresh and it’s all about per­form­ing to my full abil­ity.

“The Lions ex­pe­ri­ence last year was some­thing to cher­ish for­ever, but there’s a lot to achieve with Wasps and Eng­land now and I’m try­ing to be a bet­ter player.”

Wasps are well placed to reach the play-offs but af­ter throw­ing away win­ning po­si­tions to lose by a point at Le­ices­ter and Sale re­cently, Daly said: “We’ve just got to learn how to play the game bet­ter when we get ahead. It’s not a case of rein­ing back our pos­i­tive style, we’ve just per­haps played a bit too much rugby in our own half rather the op­po­si­tion’s.

“We want to achieve some­thing spe­cial this year and to do that we need to fin­ish in the top four – and we’ll only do that by learn­ing to con­trol games.”

Speed­ster: El­liot Daly

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