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Wasps centre Elliot Daly set for England debut

Published 23/02/2016

Elliot Daly is set to make his England debut against Ireland on Saturday
Elliot Daly is set to make his England debut against Ireland on Saturday

Elliot Daly is set to make his England debut against Ireland on Saturday after being named in Eddie Jones' squad for the Twickenham showdown.

The uncapped Wasps centre is making his first appearance in the matchday 23 after Ollie Devoto was ruled out of the third round of the Championship with concussion.

"Elliot Daly has impressed in training and is now ready to be part of the 23," head coach Jones said.

England will revert back to a five-three split on the bench between forwards and backs after reinforcing their pack with an extra lock for the 40-9 victory over Italy in Rome.

Courtney Lawes has been removed from the 23 after failing to make an impression at the Stadio Olimpico in favour of Maro Itoje, who has kept his place on the strength of a forceful second-half cameo on his debut.

Lawes, who turned 27 on Tuesday, is now available for Northampton's Aviva Premiership clash with Worcester on Saturday.

Itoje is likely to continue on the bench with George Kruis and Joe Launchbury the senior second rows.

"I have been pleased with the hard work and attitude the squad have shown since Italy," Jones said.

"Everyone wants to be on the field on Saturday so there were some tough selection calls."

Daly was competing with Luther Burrell and Sam Hill to supply midfield cover for Owen Farrell and Jonathan Joseph against Ireland, winning out on the strength of his stellar performances for Wasps this season.

The 23-year-old has genuine pace and has been used predominantly at an outside centre, where his footwork and speed are at their most dangerous.

Jones believes he covers a range of positions, however, including inside centre and full-back.

"We ran Elliot Daly at 12 on Monday morning and he picks up things very quickly. I was impressed with him," Jones said.

Jones was less glowing in his assessment of Daly after Italy were routed when asked how close the Croydon-born threequarter was to displacing the out-of-form Joseph, who repaid his coach's faith with a hat-trick against in Rome.

"I've never talked about Elliot Daly being a Test 13. I said he was a very good player with potential," Jones said.

"So Joseph wasn't under pressure. The media thought he was under pressure, not me."

Forwards (13): D Cole (Leicester Tigers), J Clifford (Harlequins), J George (Saracens), D Hartley (Northampton Saints, capt), J Haskell (Wasps), P Hill (Northampton Saints), M Itoje (Saracens), G Kruis (Saracens), J Launchbury (Wasps), J Marler (Harlequins), C Robshaw (Harlequins), B Vunipola (Saracens), M Vunipola (Saracens).

Backs (10): M Brown (Harlequins), D Care (Harlequins), E Daly (Wasps), O Farrell (Saracens), G Ford (Bath Rugby), A Goode (Saracens), J Joseph (Bath Rugby), J Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), A Watson (Bath Rugby), B Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

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