Excelling in high profile matches, alongside two fine seasons for Wasps, launched Elliot Daly into the England squad for the 2016 RBS 6 Nations Championship. He was a travelling reserve for the opening game against Scotland at Murrayfield and made his debut in the third match of the tournament against Ireland at Twickenham.He celebrated his first start with a monster left-footed penalty goal in the South Africa match that brought a 37-21 victory last November. The following week, he scored his maiden Test try with dazzling footwork that bewitched Fiji’s defence but seven days later, he was red carded in the sixth minute after taking out Leonardo Senatore in the air during the match against Argentina. He was given a three-week suspension.
Elliot announced his return to the side last February with a huge penalty goal that brought England level at 9-9 two minutes before half time in the France match at Twickenham, along the way to a 19-16 victory. He was also narrowly denied a try after a valiant run to the corner. There was no stopping him in the next game when he scored the brilliantly taken try from a long pass by Owen Farrell with four minutes remaining that beat Wales at the Principality Stadium. Next up, he produced an impressive try-scoring performance against Italy at Twickenham. Elliot went on to win selection for the 2017 British & Irish Lions in New Zealand. He made his provincial debut against the Blues at Eden Park, Auckland, and started all three Tests on the left wing against the All Blacks. He played a prominent part in a memorable ‘team try’ scored by Sean O’Brien in the opening match and landed a vital penalty from inside his own half in the 15-15 draw in the third Test.
His brilliant try from a 35-metre hack-on after the ball was perilously near the touchline took England into an 11-3 lead over Australia at Twickenham this November and pointed his side towards a 30-6 victory, a record winning margin in the fixture. Elliot added two more tries against Samoa the following week. His second was an outstanding effort when he initially beat five opponents while cutting in from the left wing on the way to the line.
He had the thrill of playing for the Barbarians against England and the British & Irish Lions in May and June 2013. Not only that. Elliot scored one of the Baa-Baas’ two tries at Twickenham in a 40-12 defeat and landed a penalty against the Lions in Hong Kong.
It emphasised his scoring knack. Croydon-born Elliot touched down in his second match for England U18 in the 33-16 win over France at Newbury in February 2010 and enhanced the impression that he has created since stepping up from England U16. It signposted a vivid route to success with the U20 side, for which he scored eight tries in nine matches in 2010-11. Elliot went on to play in ten of England’s 11 games at that level, including the 2012 Six Nations opener when Scotland were beaten 59-3 at Firhill.
His Saxons debut was against Ireland Wolfhounds in Galway in January 2013 and his fifth cap at that level was also against them at Cork two years later.
He studied for A-levels in maths, geography and PE at Whitgift School, has been a member of Wasps Academy and has captained the club’s A team. Elliot made his senior debut against Leinster at Donnybrook, Dublin in a 2010-11 warm-up match and completed 100 appearances for the club in the 20-20 draw with the same opponents in the European Champions Cup at the Ricoh Arena in January 2015. He was also shortlisted for the 2014/15 Premiership Player of the Season award and was nominated along with fellow Wasps George Smith and Charles Piutau for the European Player of the Year award in 2015/16. He has amassed 317 points for Wasps, including 36 tries, in 163 games.
Elliot’s second appearance for England U20 against Italy in February 2011 brought an eye-catching four tries, three of them in the first half hour. His debut at that level had been in the starting line-up against Wales six days earlier. He went on to land a hat-trick of tries against Scotland at Newbury the following month, having launched it with a spectacular low catch on the full and plunge over the line from George Ford’s pinpoint kick.
He previously attended Cumnor House School in South Croydon, first played for Beckenham from the age of five and was there until 2006 before spending three years with Dorking up to 2009. County honours for Surrey U15 and U16 preceded appearances for London & SE and England U16, for whom he played in the Four Nations tournament in Wales. His best rugby experience in his formative years was the first of his nine matches for England U18 when they beat Australia 30-28 at Sale in December 2009, having come from behind five times.
Cricket is his other sporting speciality. He represented England U15, London & SE U16 and Surrey U8-U17 and their academy. His brother Miles has been part of the London Irish Rugby Academy and played for Cambridge University in the 2009 U21 Varsity Match.
Elliot said: “I most admire Brian O’Driscoll, who was arguably the best outside centre in the world. He stayed at the top of his game for ten years.” His mentors have included John Fletcher, the England U18 head coach.
He regards Twickenham as the best rugby ground but he said: “For atmosphere, the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Port Elizabeth is the tops.”
36 points - 6T, 2PG
2016 I(R), W(R), W(R), A(2R,3R), SA, Fj, Arg 2017 F, W, It, S, I, Arg, Sam
3 points - 1PG
Last updated: 26 November 2017