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Mar 16, 2019 at 5pm UK
England
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Daly takes the natural way to make England full-back spot his own

Daly takes the natural way to make England full-back spot his own
© Reuters
Eddie Jones has used him as his first choice in the position for a year.

Elliot Daly insists it was the realisation he need only play his natural game that made him feel at home as England's full-back.

Daly will complete a year as Eddie Jones' first choice in the position when the 2019 Guinness Six Nations campaign reaches its climax against Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday.

It has been an occasionally turbulent conversion from Test wing for the Saracens-bound Wasp, who has played the vast majority of his club rugby at outside centre.

Mike Brown is a better defensive full-back than Elliot Daly
Mike Brown is a better defensive full-back than Elliot Daly (Steven Paston/PA)

While the transition brings a new dimension to England's attacking game, he lacks the defensive expertise and reliability of Mike Brown under the high ball but is beginning to convince.

"When Eddie gave me a chance at 15, at the start I was trying to do a bit too much but now I know exactly what I need to do as a 15 which is play my natural game," Daly said.

"That's what Eddie always said when I was playing on the wing as well, 'I know you haven't played there a lot but just play like you do for your club at centre, just defend on the wing' – which is exactly what I tried to do.

"When you think of it like that, it's simple really. Obviously, you have certain roles at full-back or wing, but when you have the ball in hand, it's exactly the same as if you are in the centre or on the wing. Just make good decisions.

England Training Session – RBS Six Nations – Pennyhill Park
England coach Eddie Jones, right, has shown faith in Daly (Andrew Mathews/PA)

"That is one thing that I've tried – to simplify my game at full-back, not try and do too much, just do the simple things well. The other things will happen off the back of that.

"There's no one game where it all clicked, but the way the Australia game went last autumn... we won quite well and it was a good test for me, especially given they had a great backline.

"For me to come through that quite well was brilliant. It's not one game, it's a collective set of games with me.

"I have Eddie to thank for it as well – getting that game time back to back to back to get my confidence up. Simplifying things off the back of that seems to have worked."

Daly has been working hard in training to improve as a full-back
Daly has been working hard in training to improve as a full-back (Adam Davy/PA)

Daly understands the concern over his ability to deal with the aerial bombardments he has faced as a rookie full-back.

"It probably was a valid question because what you want out of your full-back is for them to catch every ball," Daly said.

"You might not catch every ball in the game but you want them to put their best foot forward to be able to catch every ball in every game.

"I knew it was coming to a certain degree. But the way I've trained and the way everyone has been helping each other here has been brilliant.

"Extras after training – we're always doing them. Little and often seems to be helping."


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England scrum-half Dan Robson pictured in March 2019
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