Jones sees signs of Ella in Daly

Fri, 25 Nov 2016 18:23
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: England coach Eddie Jones said Elliot Daly faced the same choice of being "good or happy" that confronted his childhood friends, the Ella brothers, in his quest to become an established international.

The Wasps playmaker made his full England debut against South Africa earlier this month at Twickenham before switching from his familiar centre role to the left wing for last week's 58-15 defeat of Fiji.

The 24-year-old will be out wide again for Saturday's Twickenham clash against Argentina.

While Jones never had any doubts about Daly's ability, the Australian coach had been concerned about his attitude.

Jones grew up in Sydney alongside the Ella brothers, with flyhalf Mark - one of the outstanding players of his generation - a key member of the 1984 Australia side that completed a Grand Slam tour of the Home Nations.

By contrast Glen Ella won just four caps and Gary Ella, another brother, six.

"Elliot [Daly] has become a lot more serious about his rugby. He's been blessed with talent. He's a public schoolboy, holds up the trophy, has beautiful manicured hair. He goes to Wasps and he's a superstar. He's been one of those guys who's done everything easily.

"He was probably a good cricketer. He probably got 50 without blinking then he'd bowl a few medium-pacers, get a couple of wickets and take a diving catch at first slip. Then he goes out and plays golf. He doesn't play golf but then bang, he hits the ball 300 yards down the fairway.

"He's one of those kids, we've all been to school with them. I went to school with the Ellas and they were the same. They could do anything and 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 said.

And Jones believes Daly has it in him to provide England with the kind of unorthodox attacking option they haven't had since Jason Robinson.

"He does things you don't coach. We obviously give him a roving role but he's got a very good sense for the game. If you think back to the last England wing who was good like that, a bloke called Jason Robinson.

"Robinson made England into one of the best attacking teams in the world because of his ability to go anywhere in the line and attack. Elliot has got the qualities to be able to give us another attacking option that's very hard to defend against," he added.

Agence France-Presse