Eddie Jones explains his decision to start Elliot Daly at 13

“He’s got a great opportunity in his preferred position.”

Eddie Jones is confident that Elliot Daly won’t disappoint at outside centre in England’s final 2021 Six Nations clash against Ireland.

Daly last started at 13 for England in November 2016 in a game against South Africa, and has won the vast majority of his international caps as either a winger or a fullback.

While Daly has rarely played for England at outside centre, he was often in the 13 shirt when he played for Wasps, and has stated in the past that it is his preferred position.

Eddie Jones on Elliot Daly.

Jones was speaking at a press conference ahead of Saturday’s game in Dublin and said he was confident that Daly could impress after what has been a mixed Six Nations so far for the 28-year-old.

“He’s had to dig down deep into himself and find the best of himself as it’s been a tough Six Nations for Elliot,” Jones explained.

“I think he’s coming back into his best form and he’s got a great opportunity in his preferred position.”

England team selection for Ireland.

Selecting Daly at 13 came as a bit of a surprise in light of the injury to Henry Slade, as there are three other members in the England squad – Ollie Lawrence, Joe Marchant and Paolo Odogwu – who can play at outside centre.

The England head coach explained that his decision to select Daly was coloured by the gameplan that he expects Andy Farrell’s Ireland to implement on Saturday.

“It’s to do with the sort of game we’re anticipating,” Jones said.

“You play Ireland at the Aviva Stadium and it’s a big aerial contest and to have someone in your backline with a left foot which Sladey offers is going to be a basic requirement.

“Elliot can fulfil the same sort of duties that Sladey did.”

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