Elliot Daly says Owen Farrell was a big part of the reason he decided to leave Wasps for Saracens; the full-back will make his 50th England appearance if called upon to play in the Six Nations fixture against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday
Elliot Daly says criticism of Owen Farrell is unfair and that he and the team’s other backs must share responsibility for their recent struggles in attack
Elliot Daly says the opportunity to learn from England team-mate Owen Farrell was highly influential in his decision to join Saracens.
The club team-mates are expected to line up in the same backline when Eddie Jones’ Guinness Six Nations champions face Wales in Cardiff on Saturday, with Daly poised to win his 50th cap.
Both players are targeting a return to form at the Principality Stadium, hoping that a third match since early December will help blow away the cobwebs that have gathered due to relegated Saracens’ inactivity.
“Owen is always the most competitive guy on the pitch,” said Daly, who swapped Wasps for Saracens in 2019.
“Whether that’s training, gym, or even if we’re doing some silly games off the pitch, he sets the example for all of us.
Elliot Daly says playing alongside Owen Farrell was a big part of why he decided to move to Saracens from Wasps
“For the past five or six years he has been the guy you want to stick around. His knowledge of rugby is amazing, what he’s been through as an England and Saracens player winning European Cups and Premierships.
“He’s probably been the guy who has been to all the finals and understands what it takes to win. He’s one of the best players in the world. You want to be around players like that.
“For me, half my thing of going to Saracens was to play with Owen, to learn from him every day. Over the years we have quite a tight bond now.
“He’s the type of guy who will give everything for the team to push us forward. I think his performances when he’s on it speak for themselves.
“The way he’s gone about his business so far in these first few weeks of the Six Nations is exactly where he needs to be. He’s just a good guy to be around.”
Jones names his team on Thursday with Daly, who has also won three caps for the British and Irish Lions, likely to continue at full-back.
“Winning 50 caps would be a brilliant achievement and something I didn’t think I would get to when I was starting out at 23, 24,” Daly said.
May tips team-mate Rees-Zammit for stardom
Louis Rees-Zammit scored the decisive tries in Wales’ comeback wins over Ireland and Scotland
Jonny May has tipped Gloucester team-mate Louis Rees-Zammit to become a “world-class player” after his free-scoring start to this year’s Six Nations.
Wales wing Rees-Zammit is the tournament’s leading try-scorer with three tries in two games, having grabbed the decisive scores in Wales’ wins over Ireland and Scotland.
May’s battle with Rees-Zammit on the left wing could be one of the highlights of England’s game with Wales in Cardiff on February 27 as Eddie Jones’ side seek back-to-back wins, and May is predicting big things for the 20-year-old.
- Sir Ian McGeechan’s British and Irish Lions XVHaskell: Rugby faces extinction without concussion reform
“It’s great to see him doing well,” May told Sky Sports News. “I’ve enjoyed playing with him at Gloucester and being around him.
“He’s absolutely rapid and he’s got a good feel for the game as well. He’s going to be a world-class player.
“It’s good being at Gloucester with him, Ollie Thorley, Jason (Woodward). We’ve got some good back three players and I think we’re bringing the best out of each other. We’re bouncing off each other a bit.”
Jonny May explains how he practices acrobatic try-scoring finishes on the crash mats in training, following his stunning score against Italy
Having faltered in attack in their dismal defeat to Scotland, England responded with a six-try victory over Italy last weekend with May producing an acrobatic finish in the corner.
The try moved May to outright second in England’s all-time try-scorer list with his 32nd score but he says there is still plenty of room for improvement ahead of next weekend’s contest at the Principality Stadium.
“The Scotland game was incredibly disappointing,” said May. “We just wanted to go out there and strip things back a little bit, make things a little bit simpler for ourselves.
“The backs met a couple of times in the week and said that we need to start moving the ball a bit more, not stressing about the detail all that much or overthinking it. Let’s just move the ball around – why not get our hands on the ball and take people on.
“I think we did that. It wasn’t perfect but the intent was in the right place.”