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'I would be very surprised if he is not in Steve's squad on Monday'

By PA
(Photo by Steve Bardens/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

Mark McCall believes Elliot Daly has done more than enough to make Steve Borthwick’s England squad after a player of the match performance in Saracens’ 48-28 win over Lyon.

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Daly was at his very best as Saracens sealed qualification for the last 16 of the Heineken Champions Cup with a game to spare, scoring a hat-trick in just seven minutes and 20 seconds in the first half.

Other tries from Alex Lozowski, Marco Riccioni, Andy Christie and Ben Earl saw Saracens to an impressive victory over last year’s European Challenge Cup champions.

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Saracens head to Edinburgh looking to continue their unbeaten European streak next week, but sealing qualification a week early is not something to take for granted and director of rugby McCall was delighted with his side’s effort.

He said: “We are happy with that, if you had told us before we would score 48 points and get another 20-point win playing the way we did in the first half then we would have taken that.

“Elliot had an outstanding game, I think everyone knows he has been outstanding all season, he was playing well before tonight and he showed all his qualities again tonight.

“I would expect he will be in the England squad, like I said he has been playing well, not just at full-back this year, he has been outstanding at full-back, but in the November period when he played outside centre for us, he was strong there too, so I am sure he will be in the squad.

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“I would be very surprised if he is not in Steve’s squad on Monday.”

Saracens were without regular captain and fly-half Owen Farrell, as he served the first week of his suspension, with Jamie George and Alex Goode deputising as captain and number 10 respectively.

There has been a lot of comments in the week after Farrell received a four-week ban which can be reduced to three should he attend World Rugby’s coaching intervention programme, but McCall defended his club captain and backs him to come back stronger.

He added: “Owen will comply with what he needs to do.

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“Everyone knows he has been such a brilliant player; I would say the best player in England over the last 10 years and what a great leader he has been for club and country.

“You won’t be surprised to hear that Owen is one of those players who works at his craft in all aspects of his game, and this is something that he really wants to get better at, and he works religiously with our defence coach every week.

“The margins are small with that tackle and, in my opinion, it was at the very low end of that kind of tackle, so I think the outcry has been a bit over the top to be honest.”

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