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Jones: ‘Elliot Daly is now serious about rugby’

Thu, Nov 24, 2016, Posted by   print

2007 World Cup

10:00 PM GMT

Having taken the leap from being content to consistent, Elliot Daly is now bringing the same versatility to England that Jason Robinson once offered, according to Eddie Jones.

Usually a centre, Daly started on the wing for England against Fiji. He keeps his place for Saturday’s Test against Argentina, preferred to out-and-out wingers Marland Yarde and Semesa Rokoduguni.

Prior to last weekend, Daly last started a match on the wing for Wasps in March 2013. But he will know that when it comes to picking a World Cup squad, versatility is key.

This is the challenge Jones has laid down to the 24-year-old and it is a shift in attitude that has persuaded the England coach that he can handle the rigours of international rugby and fulfil his potential.

“He’s just become a lot more serious about his rugby,” Jones said of Daly. “He’s been blessed with talent, hasn’t he? He’s a public school boy, holds up the trophy, and has beautiful manicured hair. Goes to Wasps and he’s a superstar. He’s been one of those guys who’s done everything easily.”

Daly could no longer go through the motions, relying on mere talent, according to Jones but has taken the next step in his development.

“He can do anything,” Jones continued. “He’s one of those kids, isn’t he? We’ve all been to school with him. I went [to Matraville Sports High School] with the Ellas and they were the same.

“They could do anything. Then they get to an age and say ‘right, I’m going to convert this to consistent performances or I’m happy just being talented’.

“Mark decided he wanted to be good and Glen decided he wanted to be happy. Glen used to sit on the tackle bag and Mark used to tackle him. What I’m seeing from Elliot Daly now is he’s starting to tackle the tackle bags.”

Jones sees Daly’s next hurdle as coping with public adulation and “how hard he fights through that”. Achieve that and the Australian feels he can become a potent weapon for England in the mould of World Cup-winner Robinson because of “his ability to go anywhere in the line and attack”.

As well as a shift in on-field approach, Jones has seen a change in how Daly carries himself off the field. He spends more time with the group of players who “are driving the team”, according to Jones, and captain Dylan Hartley has seen a shift in his mentality.

“He’s kinda grown, he’s not such a young guy anymore; I mean he might be age-wise but I’ve seen it in the way he carries himself, he’s very self-assured,” Hartley said of Daly. “He trains really well and he’s got high standards, and off the field he brings a lot to the team as well. He’s an entertaining character.”

Elliot Daly is usually found at outside centre for Wasps. David Rogers/Getty Images

Hartley has handed him off-field responsibilities, including him taking on the role of chief ‘bean hunter’.

“He’s a coffee connoisseur so wherever we go, he’s got an app, Bean Hunter or something like that,” Hartley continued. “So every team room we go to, he’ll have all the independent coffee shops.

“He’s good at given jobs and he does them very well! He’s a good team man. He buys in and does things with a good energy; like sweeping a changing room, like finding Bean Hunter.”

Against Argentina on Saturday, Daly will be keeping a watchful eye on Pumas’ Matias Orlando while popping up all over the pitch, focused, showcasing his versatility to Jones.

“Elliot is not Jason Robinson,” Jones said. “I’m not trying to say he is, but he’s got the qualities to be able to give us another attacking option that’s very hard to defend against.”

Source Article from http://www.espn.co.uk/rugby/story/_/id/18128780/eddie-jones-pushes-elliot-daly-comfort-zone-england

Jones: ‘Elliot Daly is now serious about rugby’

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