Elliot Daly and Danny Cipriani meet two puppies named after them

The duo made the trip to the Guide Dogs National Breeding Centre at Bishops Tachbrook, Leamington Spa, to meet both of the four-week-old Labrador Retriever crosses.

Joanne Bass from Galley Common, Nuneaton looks after the puppies’ guide dog mum, a five-year-old black Labrador called Maya, and came up with the names.

The puppies were part of a named “D litter” – a process whereby every puppy in a particular litter has to have a name starting with the same letter, usually starting alphabetically from the letter A.

Joanne works at the National Breeding Centre and is a Wasps season ticket holder, spending every other weekend at the Ricoh Arena watching the team with partner Patrick Darlison and daughter Lily Darlison.

She said: “I absolutely love Wasps so I thought nominating names for the dogs after a couple of their players would be a nice thing to do.

“When Maya gave birth, I was told that it was her ‘D litter’ – so after trawling through the
Wasps squad, I settled on calling one Danny and the other Daly.

“I’m over the moon that the players decided to come along to meet the puppies, which will be officially named when they are six weeks old.

“On this particular occasion both puppies were born at the National Breeding Centre and will remain there until they are six weeks old, at which point they will begin their training to become a guide dog.”

The Guide Dogs National Breeding Centre breeds up to 1400 puppies a year – using a number of breeds including Golden Retrievers, Labradors and German Shepherds. The Guide Dogs charity relies on donations from the public and fundraising from supporters such as the Coventry Volunteer Group, to support people with sight loss to have the confidence and skills they need to live the life they choose.

Elliot Daly, who owns a Puglet called Winston, added: “It brought a smile to my face when I heard the news so I was keen to meet my name sake in person.

“The visit brought home the important role that the National Breeding Centre plays in bringing through young guide dogs that are essential to a lot of people’s daily lives – I’d urge all dog lovers to pay a visit and show their support.”

To find out how you can support or volunteer for the Guide Dogs in the local area, please email Coventry@guidedogs.org.uk and for more information on the National Breeding Centre visit www.guidedogs.org.uk.