Elliot Daly banking on Saracens experience in Harlequins Premiership semi-final as he targets England tour

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Elliot Daly lines up at outside centre for Saracens against Harlequins in the Premiership semi-final  (Getty Images)
Elliot Daly lines up at outside centre for Saracens against Harlequins in the Premiership semi-final (Getty Images)

A rise in intensity was evident the moment Elliot Daly walked into Saracens training on Monday ahead of his first Premiership semi-final with the club, against Harlequins tomorrow.

Daly joined Saracens in 2019, a season split by the pandemic which ended with them being relegated to the Championship for salary cap indiscretions.

Before that season, they had reached the play-offs every year since 2009. Daly says a “been there, done that” mentality, led by captain Owen Farrell, will drive the club when they face Quins.

“The change of attitude, you can feel it from the minute you walk in on Monday morning of a big game week,” he says. “It’s completely different from a normal game week. You can’t describe it. Everyone is on it, raring to go.

“The club has been there and done it, which is brilliant, learning off the experiences of the likes of Owen, Jamie [George], the Vunipolas [Billy and Mako]. You can see them leading it.

“The players have to drive it in these weeks. The coaches can only do so much. When you are on the pitch in a semi-final, the players are there, the coaches aren’t.”

Daly lines up at outside centre in a Sarries side showing 13 changes from the second-string outfit that lost the final game of the regular season at Gloucester last week. All 15 starters have international caps, and Maro Itoje makes his 150th appearance for the club. Quins have a star-studded side of their own, but Louis Lynagh is missing through injury.

Later in the day, Leicester host Northampton in an East Midlands derby in the other semi-final.

Daly, an England regular, harbours hopes of making the squad for the tour of Australia later in June, and believes fixtures like this are the perfect platform to remind Eddie Jones of his class.

"You always want to go on an England tour, especially to Australia,” he said. “They are playing well so it will be a tough test. You can’t think about selection, but the semi-final and hopefully the final are two games to show what you can do and put yourself on that plane.”

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