Rugby Union

Jonathan Joseph will face competition from Elliot Daly for England spot

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With Wasps' rise back up to the top, Elliot Daly has been a pivotal figure in their success. Last year, he was part of the five-man shortlist for player of the year in the Premiership, alongside teammate Nathan Hughes.

If he had won, he would have been the first Englishman to win the award without winning an international cap. This just shows the level the man is working at.

Last season, he was very unlucky not to be included, but when you look at England's options, it was always going to be a tough ask.


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Even though fans deem the midfield an issue for the international side, when you look at those available, you have to ask the question: How? They have Luther Burrell, Kyle Eastmond, Jonathan Joseph, Daly, Henry Slade, Brad Barritt and potentially Manu Tuilagi. All of these exciting names in a so-called 'struggling' midfield?

Daly is one of the youngest there, having turned down a professional cricket contract with Surrey, he has gone from strength-to-strength and is very likely to be in the England set-up soon.

With Joseph his main contender, the fight will be tough to get in, as the Bath man has become a favourite at Twickenham.

However, Daly is younger and has the potential to be the better player by far, seemingly improving with every game. He possesses the quick feet similar to Joseph so nothing to choose from them there.

The Wasp can certainly kick, cracking over two penalties from 50 plus yards in their win against Gloucester. Out of hand, his tactical kicking is also quickly improving and overall, his boot beats that of the Bath 13.

Defence is certainly one of the hardest requirements of a 13 and is a difficult skill to master in terms of positioning, but Daly has done well on this front.

Against Leinster, he had to deal with the creative ability of Jonathan Sexton yet handled it expertly, with the lack of chances made by the Irish province boiling down to the brutal defence of himself and the back three.

Daly also brings a strong offloading game with him, with his preference of going into a challenge instantly looking for that offload. In a game vast changing to suit this style of play, he could certainly speed up England's development, to catch up with the Southern hemisphere sides on that front.

So while Joseph is England's leading man, Daly could potentially steal his shirt should his development continue at this fast pace.

Fellow Wasp Christian Wade could also get an England shot soon and Daly would be the perfect man to work alongside him, with the two playing some electrifying rugby at the Ricoh.

Eddie Jones will certainly have some selection problems, but having too many good centres to choose from isn't a bad thing, as long as the partnership clicks.

Rugby Union
Aviva Premiership
England Rugby
London Wasps

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