Daly happy to be back
As Wasps prepare for Friday night's game against Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park, Elliot Daly says his teammates are looking forward to the new challenges the trip to the North East will bring.
Elliot Daly is sponsored by Gaucho
Daly made his Wasps return in Saturday's 40-26 win against Bath Rugby on Christmas Eve and the England centre was delighted to be back playing in black and gold.
"It was nice to be back out there on Saturday, it felt like a long three weeks out. It was good to get back in the team and to contribute in some way. I don't like watching games, but the boys did well while I was away and I have tried to come back, train as well as possible and help them in any way I could."
"Bath are a very good team, with some quality players and are playing some very good rugby at the moment. They kept coming back at us on the weekend and made it a bit worrying towards the end, but we came through."
"I thought the fans were unbelievable, 26,000 was a massive amount of fans to get on Christmas Eve and it definitely helped the team. The fireworks were great after the game, all of the boys gathered in the tunnel to watch them and it really added to the occasion."
Those in the professional sports industry have it tough over the Christmas period and Wasps are no exception, although this year's fixture list was a little kinder than usual as Daly explains.
"I've never had time off over the festive period, so I think it is just something you get used to. I've had games on Boxing Day and games on New Years Day, so it was nice to have one on Christmas Eve to be fair."
Turning attention to this Friday's tricky encounter with Newcastle Falcons, the 24-year-old is looking forward to playing at a slightly different Kingston Park this season.
"I think Kingston Park has become a better place to go now with the 3G pitch and the style of rugby they are playing. They play a very open game and it makes a big difference being able to chuck the ball around on a nice surface.
"Since Newcastle got the new pitch, they seem to be throwing the ball around a bit more. They caused us a few problems at the Ricoh at the end of October, it is going to be a big game involving two teams that like to play, so it should be interesting."
Falcons have enjoyed a strong first half to the season, as typified by their performance at the Ricoh Arena earlier in the campaign. Despite going down 31-6 that day, Dean Richards' men have garnered plenty of plaudits for their style of play and for picking up notable scalps like Harlequins and Northampton Saints in recent weeks.
"Newcastle have always had a really good forward pack and they have some really exciting backs, especially their back three, who look really dangerous at the moment and should cause us some problems on Friday."
With a tough run of fixtures coming up, Daly believes it will be vital to try and keep the momentum going.
"Leicester is a massive game on the horizon, but we will take each game as it comes and see how we go in this game against Newcastle first. We want to go there and try and get the win to try and keep the momentum going.
"This is a massive period for us, with the three Aviva Premiership rounds and then the two European games and hopefully we come out of it firing and on top." Wasps return to action at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday 8 January (3:00 KO) against Leicester Tigers and you can get your tickets here.