Elliot "Briefcase" Daly has come a long way since arriving at Wasps in school uniform and he's ready to impress for England, disciplinary issues permitting

 
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Daly only lasted a few minutes of action against Argentina on Saturday before being shown a red card (Source: Getty)

When Elliot Daly turned up at Wasps’ Acton training ground in sixth form school uniform, few moments passed before he was assigned the same nickname as one particular "Inbetweeners" character who took a briefcase to class on the first day of the new term.

His peers knew he had talent and were keen to keep his feet welded to the ground.

Much was justifiably made of ‎Daly in advance of England’s game against Argentina on Saturday.

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In the event the centre crowned his appearance with a red card inside the first few minutes for a foul that, although judged correctly, was completely unintentional.

The unfortunate sequence of opening events removed one of England’s most exciting players and refused the centre an opportunity to justify the hype of the game’s preamble.

Daly has been at the core of the Wasps line-up for several seasons and this really is his time to gain wider international recognition.

In previous outings he has looked a little short on confidence, and often has been restrained by some form of physical malfunction. Now he looks prepared, more substantial and has an aura of self-assurance.

Naturally he is not of notable dimensions, but through applying himself in the weights room, he has seemingly matured from a leggy pup to a well-set hound.

Saturday’s opening gambit will stall wider recognition of the centre’s talent, but another opportunity should arrive, at which point Daly will hope for 80 minutes rather than closer to 280 seconds in order to reassert his worth.

Unique match-up retains its appeal

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France have become adept at facing the Haka (Source: Getty)

No fixture in Test rugby comes close to ‎France-New Zealand, who also clashed on Saturday, in terms of pure spectacle.

The Gaulois will have strategically designed their home shirt to be the darkest shade of blue, forcing the All Blacks into their alternate strip, which happens to be brilliant white.

Then there is the Haka, which the French have become one of the most adept in facing.

The Parisian crowd on Saturday night watched in complete silence, when between the war cries of TJ Rawakata a falling feather would have been deafeningly audible.

On command, the visitors sank to the half-squat position, the blue legion uniformly advanced, and the crowd was roused.

With the god of war invoked, and the enemy stirred, a game of rugby played out in a fashion typically expected following the coming together of these sides.

World player of the year Beauden Barrett kicked across field when positioned inside his own half, Julien Savea retrieved and offloaded to Israel Dagg, who scored under the posts.

Maxime Machenaud kicked with precision to close the gap, before Barrett made an interception and sprinted the length of the field.

Nevertheless, there was some conventional scoring activity from All Blacks prop Charlie Faumuina, who stuck to what he knew: running straight and hard.

Replacement No9 Baptiste Serin gave a reminder of Gallic flair in a deft moment of skill, where he replicated a George Gregan-style inside ball and sent Louis Picamoles across the try-line.

The score ended 19-24, which was less significant than confirmation that this fixture continues to be unique.

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