Daly said, “They’re obviously a very, very good side as they’ve shown over the last couple of years now, especially this last year. Beating New Zealand and the form they’ve been in, they’ve shown that they have got some high-quality players and they play very well as a team. They’re a difficult opponent.”
Daly’s continued selection is at odds with the views of some England fans who believe 72-capped Mike Brown is the more assured man under the high ball – an area of threat that Ireland are likely to target. Is he aware of the opinions out there of each man’s relative strengths?
Daly commented, “Yeah definitely. Especially when you play a team like Ireland, it’s talked about a lot. Their breakdown’s huge as well and people don’t really speak about that so those two areas are going to be massive. You want to be as best prepared as you can. This week Mike’s been great with me and the team’s been pushing each other forward, especially that back three region. We’re really looking forward to this weekend.”
Having the backing of the head coach in terms of successive selections will be giving Daly confidence but he insists it’s all about the benefit it gives to the group.
He said, “The start of the week here in Portugal has been very competitive. We’ve had a good few days together, a good few tough sessions together as well but as we now know, the squad’s coming together and everyone wants to help each other. You can see that by the way we train and the extras we do, it’s just a good environment to be in at the moment.”
Daly will be hoping to use his pace to cause Ireland problems and with Manu Tuilagi selected at centre in front of him, he’ll be hoping the door is barged open for him.
Daly commented, “It’s great to play with him. I’ve played with him a couple of times now and he’s one of those game breakers isn’t he? He breaks the line and it’s great to see him back and firing on full cylinders. He’s looking really good in training.”
With Eddie Jones keenly putting the pressure on Ireland by labelling them as the best side in the world, does Daly believe England go into the game as underdogs?
He replied, “I don’t think so, I don’t see it like that but it’s one of those things where the media will build it up to a certain degree. At the end of the day you know what your team is capable of, what the other team is capable of and anyone can win on the day.”
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