England head coach Eddie Jones has tipped utility back Elliot Daly to scale new heights during 2018 after rounding off his international year with two tries against Samoa in Saturday’s autumn-ending clash at Twickenham.
Daly crossed the line twice in the second period to join Mike Brown, Alex Lozowski, Charlie Ewels, Henry Slade and Semesa Rokoduguni on the scoresheet as England beat the Pacific Islanders 48-14.
It is little over a year since Jones switched Daly to the wing from centre, and during the ensuing 12 months the 25-year-old has featured on the flank for the British and Irish Lions as they toured New Zealand.
England World Cup winner Jason Robinson last week told City A.M. that despite his success there he still did not see Daly as a fully-fledged winger, although Jones believes he is destined to thrive in that position.
“I always thought he was a natural winger,” said Jones. “When I watched him play I thought he’d be a natural winger. Left foot, speed, the ability to come off from his wing – all the things he could do at No11.
“There is no reason why he can’t get better. He can be a better player next year than he is this year. He can get quicker, he can get stronger and he can get better conditioned than he is – and he will.”
Jones also confirmed that memories of Manu Tuilagi’s performance against New Zealand in 2012 mean the injury-plagued centre has scope to work his way into the Australian’s World Cup plans. The 26-year-old is currently sidelined with a knee problem.