Tuesday 2 May 2017

Elliot Daly

Podcast Episode - 9

Elliot Fitzgerald Daly

Centre/Full Back/Wing - England & Wasps
the man who can kick a ball into a bin from 50m

Born: 8th October 1992
Mother: Caroline
Father: Martin
Brother: Miles
Girlfriend: Michelle Cussell
Black Pug: Winston

Weight: 94kg (14.11 St)
Height: 1.84M (6'0")


Caps: 13
Tries: 3
Penalties: 2


Caps: 106
Tries: 19
Penalties: 30

Born in Croydon in 1992 to Caroline and Martin, Elliot got into rugby early. At just 5 years old he started playing for Beckenham mini's before joining Dorking rugby club in 2006 where he remained for 3 years. He attended Cumnor House School where he was head boy, an A-grade student an outstanding cricketer and all-round good bloke according to multiple sources. We'll overlook the fact he played flute for the school jazz band!

From there he went to Whitgift where his rugby really began to take off. Notable alumni include Danni Cipriani and Marland Yarde as well as cricketer Jason Roy and footballer Victor Moses.

It was here that he played a pivotal role alongside team mate and fellow England squad member Marland Yarde in their 2010 and 2011 Daily Mail Cup final victories.

Cricket was another passion of Daly's and having represented Surrey at age level and England at U15, he was forced to make a decision between a potential future career in rugby or cricket, we think he chose well, but clearly here was a man with an outstanding all-round sporting talent and an 80mph fast ball!

You'd be forgiven for thinking Eliot was some sort of saint, the perfect child and sporting prodigy, but he had a dark side. He has always been fiercely competitive, so much so that as a youngster playing cricket in the back garden with his brother, a loss resulted in him taking the bat to his brothers head! Fortunately no permanent damage was done and his brother is today one of his most fervent supporters.

He's also clearly a bit of a lothario, meeting his now girlfriend Michelle while in his final year at Whitgift. He the attentive student, she the schools sports events organiser - what a legend!!

Domestic Career

In 2010, Elliot joined the Wasps elite player development squad advancing into the full academy during which time he was loaned to London Scottish where he earned 2 caps scoring 1 try. His senior debut came came at Centre against Exeter in the Anglo-Welsh Cup in November 2010 while still a pupil at Whitgift making him the second youngest player ever to represent the club at senior level after James Haskell. His Premiership debut came later that month against Bath. He finished the 2010/11 season with 6 appearances covering Centre, Full Back and Wing.

Now a Wasps regular with 106 caps, 19 tries, 30 penalties and counting, Elliot has long been recognised for his gifted boot, and this Video shows just how accurate he is slotting a 50m kick directly into a bin at the side of the pitch.

His gift is predominantly recognised for its ferocity, regularly being called upon to slot 50, 55 and in this case even 60m penalties putting him a unique class of kicker alongside the likes of Francois Steyn and Diego Dominguez and creating a very effective defence against penalties.

The only real blip on his otherwise pristine record came in 2014 against Exeter when he was cited for verbally abusing the ref and was given a 3 week ban. He admitted the offence and apologised and has put it behind him as a key lesson learned.

International Career

Elliot represented England at U16, U18 and in 2011 he was part of the U20 6 Nations Grand Slam winning team and Junior World Championship finalists against New Zealand. In 2013 he was called up to the England Saxons, the same year in which he represented the Barbarians for the first of his 2 Baba's caps, coming against the British & Irish Lions (a game in which he slotted one of his trademark 46m penalties). Now a Lion himself, it puts him in a unique group of players to have both played against and represented the Lions.

His first taste of senior England rugby came in 2015 when he was selected in the Elite Player Squad by Stuart Lancaster, but he wasn't actually utilised until the new (and current) boss Eddie Jones took over, drafting him into the match day 23 for the 2016 Six Nations Championship.

His debut came against Ireland on 27th February replacing Owen Farrell at inside centre in a 21-10 victory at Twickenham. Despite regularly featuring as an Eddie jones "finisher" his first start wasn't to come until later that year in the Old Mutual Wealth Autumn International series against South Africa in November. He started at Outside Centre alongside Farrell and got his first points with long range penalty that he seemed to stroke over the posts without any of the fuss and preparation you tend to see from most kickers in the modern era (definitely no version of a 'Biggar shuffle' here).

His first try came the following week against Fiji where he started on the wing but his international career was about to receive its first black mark when he stepped onto the field against Argentina and became the first England back and only the second England player ever to be sent off at Twickenham. It was a 50:50 challenge but he pulled out at the last minute causing it to be miss-timed and resulting in the Argentina No.8 landing on his head. Under the new laws, there was no choice, he was shown the red card with only 4m30s on the clock and subsequently received a 3 week ban. There's no question that malice played no part, and looking at this video, had he maintained the challenge the result may have been very different, but player welfare is correctly a vitally important part of the game today and the laws are clear. See for yourselves.

His England highlight to date came in the 2017 Six Nations Championship game against Wales in Cardiff. 16-14 down with only 5 minutes left on the clock, Daly finished off an emphatic link-up between Ford, Farrell and himself, beating a bemused Alex Cuthbert on the outside to run in a 20m match winning try in style. He has since gone from strength to strength, fast becoming one of the first names on an Eddie Jones team sheet, so its no wonder he'll now be joining the rest of the squad on the Lions Tour this summer, this is a guy that can add an edge to any side and well worth his place on tour.