Daly edges Burrell out of the England reckoning

England coach Eddie Jones, left, Mike Brown, centre, and Elliot Daly during a training session at Pennyhill Park, Bagshot yesterday.England coach Eddie Jones, left, Mike Brown, centre, and Elliot Daly during a training session at Pennyhill Park, Bagshot yesterday.
England coach Eddie Jones, left, Mike Brown, centre, and Elliot Daly during a training session at Pennyhill Park, Bagshot yesterday.
Elliot Daly is set to make his England debut against Ireland on Saturday after being named in Eddie Jones's 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,” said head coach Jones.

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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 yesterday, is now available for Northampton’s Premiership game with Worcester on Saturday.

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

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

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

Daly was competing with Huddersfield-born 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.

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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 in Rome.

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

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“So Joseph wasn’t under pressure. The media thought he was under pressure, not me.”

Jared Payne appears increasingly unlikely to face England after missing training yesterday.

Ireland remain “hopeful” Ulster centre Payne can still beat his hamstring problem in time to start the clash in London, but the 30-year-old must prove his readiness tomorrow.

Head coach Joe Schmidt would typically demand that Ireland’s players prove their fitness on the Tuesday ahead of a Saturday Test match. The Ireland boss broke that self-imposed protocol for the first time ahead of the 10-9 defeat to France, waiting on Simon Zebo and Keith Earls, and could yet follow suit for the England clash, given his high regard for Payne’s defensive qualities.

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“Everyone trained fully today apart from Jared Payne,” said Ireland’s forwards coach Simon Easterby.

“He trained probably 85 to 90 per cent yesterday and ran well, but today he’s going to do some work with the physios and continue that, and we’ll give him until Thursday to prove his fitness.”

Ireland initially thought Payne had suffered a dead leg in the France defeat on February 13, but the issue was later revealed as a hamstring injury.

Earls, Stuart McCloskey and Luke Marshall will all fight to slot into the centres in case Payne fails to make the fitness grade.

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Munster flier Earls has beaten the concussion that kept him out of the game in Paris, and stepped into Ireland’s centres when Payne suffered a foot injury during last autumn’s World Cup.

Uncapped Ulster star McCloskey is the form centre, however, with the 23-year-old battering ram causing untold problems for defences with his direct, physical style this term.

Ireland would most likely shift Robbie Henshaw to 13 to accommodate McCloskey in his natural inside centre role.

England squad – Forwards: 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).

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Backs: 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).

Lock Luke Charteris will miss Wales’ game against France in Cardiff on Friday because of a knee injury.

Charteris is replaced in the starting XV by Wasps forward Bradley Davies.

Two other changes from the side that beat Scotland see call-ups for Cardiff Blues wing Alex Cuthbert and Ospreys flanker Dan Lydiate, with Wales captain Sam Warburton switching to openside flanker after two successive starts at blindside. Justin Tipuric drops out of the back-row.