Despite being one of the youngest members of the England U20 Squad competing in this year’s Junior World Cup in Italy, Elliot Daly is far from daunted by the task ahead of his side.
After a 33-25 win over Ireland, England face Scotland later today in their second game of the Junior World Cup’s group stages with Daly in the starting line-up once again.
The victory over Ireland was not as comfortable as some may have expected, but the 18-year old, who has featured six times for London Wasps this season while still at school, says his side will be much improved for the experience.
“I think that we played well in patches but we didn’t really put together the full 80 minutes that we would have wanted to. We are going to try to put that right against Scotland tonight by upping our game a little bit to the level that we know we can play at. We gave away too many penalties against Ireland, which I think is one of the big things. I think that personally, I did ok when I got the ball and I feel like we managed well in defence against a tough team. I would hope to get a little bit more of the ball against Scotland and hopefully I can do something with it.”
The squad flew out to Italy last Saturday and Elliot says that they have acclimatised well to the conditions.
“It has been pretty wet for a couple of the days we have been out here so it was just like being at home! It was pretty hot when we first got off of the plane but we have been training at night time which is when the games are so it has been a little bit cooler. It is hot during the day but we have been staying in the shade a lot and making sure we are hydrated. We have been here a while now so we have had some time to get used to it all.”
With a short turnaround between the game against Ireland last Friday and the game against Scotland today, Daly says the team has still been given as much opportunity to recover as they can.
“We had the day off straight after the game just to give ourselves some time to relax and recuperate. We then had a training session Sunday and we had a team run yesterday so it’s been fine. We are given a lot of rest periods so that we can recover from the games and the training sessions and the physios are always on
hand to help us with anything that is feeling sore.”
England play Scotland this evening at the Stadio Communale di Monigo in Treviso and Daly says that there is a lot of confidence going into the match.
“There is a great amount of confidence in the camp going into the game against Scotland. We played them in the Six Nations and came away with a strong win. However, like with Ireland, we know that Scotland will come at us a lot stronger and whilst we know how they play the game they will know how we do. I think there were a lot of cobwebs for the Ireland game and everyone was a bit rusty. We are looking good in training and everyone has been working hard so there is a good feeling going into the next game. Their set piece, especially their lineout is strong. If we can try to dominate that then we can try to get ahead in the game.”