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Daly chasing points before plaudits with Wasps

Daly chasing points before plaudits with Wasps

Elliot Daly may have come of age this season with a series of stellar performances but despite winning Aviva Premiership Rugby player of the month for March, the centre is still driven by boosting Wasps’ top-six chances.

After coming second to fellow England hopeful Henry Slade in the vote for February, Daly found another gear to terrorise defences and duly claimed the top prize this time around.

Yet despite his scything breaks and deft passing that had even reigning European champions Toulon in reverse, the 22-year-old is quick to point out that Wasps have now lost three consecutive games in all competitions.

That valiant defeat to Toulon last weekend followed similarly thrilling yet ultimately disappointing defeats to Aviva Premiership Rugby high-flyers Saracens and Northampton Saints in recent weeks.

And with a top-six finish still in the balance going into the last four rounds, Daly believes maintaining his own form is the least he can do to ensure Wasps’ fate remains in their own hands.

“The award is awesome, I really wasn’t expecting it but I’ve had a couple of good games of late so to get this recognition from the fans and my peers is great,” he said.

“You always just want to do your best for the team and for Wasps that’s helping up stay in the top six and any award is just a nice bonus.

“We want to get as many points as we can and with the run-in Sale Sharks have got we know we need to be ruthless and as accurate as possible to secure at least a top-six place.

“We’ve got Exeter Chiefs and Leicester Tigers at home, which is nice because they are tough places to go and hopefully we can bring our home form back to where it’s been for most of the season.

“For a large part of the Toulon game we respected them too much and maybe were even a bit scared of them.

“Then in the second half we played how we wanted to and that style is how we want to go forward with our season – to play with confidence  and not in our own half.”

Daly’s recent form has naturally led to calls for the England Saxons centre to be included in Stuart Lancaster’s senior squad ahead of a World Cup on home soil this year.

While the No.13 believes the chance to be involved in the tournament would cap a breakthrough season in style, he admits he still has a long way to go to unseat current incumbent Jonathan Joseph.

But regardless of his own involvement, Daly is adamant that fellow Wasps star Joe Simpson deserves a chance to take his club form to the highest level.

“If you are a young player in England the World Cup has to be part of your aspirations because it’s going to be massive when it comes around,” he said.

“The chance to be part of something like that would be amazing but all I can do is just keep up the same form.

“Jonathan Joseph has been playing very well and he’s obviously the form guy at the moment so that means the rest of us have got to get up to his level.

“I’ve played most of my rugby at 13 and trying to get in there is my main focus so while I would take the 12 jersey if I was offered it, I think I’m more suited to outside centre.

“With Joe, there are a lot of good scrum halves in the Premiership and he’s definitely been unlucky with England but I feel like he’ll get there soon.

“He’s been incredible for us, especially with his kicking game and that x-factor that he brings with his speed and breaks – he’s definitely the best No.9 I’ve played with.”

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