Brian O’Driscoll has given a ringing endorsement to Elliot Daly’s expected selection by England for Saturday’s clash with South Africa at Twickenham.
In a surprise move by head coach Eddie Jones, Daly is set to replace Jonathan Joseph at outside centre in what will be his first Test start after making five appearances as a replacement.
England name their team on Thursday morning when Jones will outline his selection thinking and O’Driscoll, who won the vast majority of his 133 Ireland caps in the number 13 jersey, understands his elevation above Joseph.
“I really like Elliot Daly, I admire the way he plays. A lot of what’s good about Wasps comes through him. There’s nothing quite like the afterburners that he’s clearly got,” O’Driscoll said.
“Nothing matches raw pace, especially if you’re getting front foot ball as a 13 and getting to run on to it because you’ve got excellent passers inside you like Owen Farrell or George Ford.
“You’d imagine that with the level of possession England’s pack will provide, he’ll be in a good place. He’s got a lovely, educated left boot and it’s nice to have that long range aspect with left and right footers for kick exits.
“There may have been question marks about him defensively in the past, but he’s been very solid this season. He’d played over 100 games before he was even 21, which is remarkable. He’s had to bide his time and it sounds like it’s pure form he’s been selected on.”
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