Heineken Champions Cup: Elliot Daly scores hat-trick as Saracens overwhelm Lyon 48-28

Class: Daly shone in Sarries win  (Getty Images)
Class: Daly shone in Sarries win (Getty Images)

Elliot Daly oozed Test class in front of new England boss Steve Borthwick, notching the third-fastest Champions Cup hat-trick as Saracens overwhelmed Lyon 48-28 at StoneX Stadium.

Daly bagged his treble in just seven minutes and 20 seconds, on a crisp north London night where Owen Farrell cleared up his England status without even setting foot on the field.

The Men In Black’s seven-try win sealed qualification for the last-16 knockout round, with one pool match still to play.

Saracens stalwart Farrell sat out the contest in starting his three-match suspension, that came after a citing for a high tackle on Gloucester’s Jack Clement last weekend.

Farrell is expected to be retain the England captaincy when Borthwick names his Six Nations squad on Monday.

And on a busy day for the 101-cap star even though he did not feature, Farrell also had his availability for England’s Six Nations opener rubber stamped.

The RFU confirmed the unusual step of releasing Farrell for Saracens’ Gallagher Premiership match against Bristol on January 28 – the weekend before England’s Six Nations opener against Scotland at Twickenham on February 4.

In releasing the 31-year-old from the England camp, the RFU has effectively been able to earmark that Bristol game as the third and therefore final match of Farrell’s suspension.

That, in turn, frees up Farrell to start England’s Six Nations, and the Borthwick era, from the off.

No doubts whatsoever then on Farrell’s England status, but for Daly the outlook appears far less bright.

The 30-year-old has been in sparkling form this season, and extended that again as Saracens racked up their third-straight win at Europe’s top table this term.

But not even his match-turning treble is likely to be enough to coax new boss Borthwick into squeezing him into the England squad.

Daly is not part of England’s wider Elite Player Squad, and was not called to Borthwick’s mini camp at the start of the month.

The former Wasps full-back’s expected England absence will only boost Saracens though, especially in such fettle.

Sarries overwhelmed Lyon (Getty Images)
Sarries overwhelmed Lyon (Getty Images)

Daly’s third try secured Saracens’ scoring bonus point just 25 minutes in, with Alex Lozowski, Marco Riccioni and Andy Christie all powering in before half-time too.

Ben Earl powered in at the death to cement the victory, with Sarries in fine form.

Dylan Cretin’s seventh-minute yellow card proved a portent of far worse to come for the French visitors, who could not match Saracens’ intensity.

Ethan Dumortier crossed either side of half-time as Lyon eventually rallied, with Josia Maraku and Arno Botha getting in on the act.

Saracens were forced to grind through the final stages, but had already in truth ended Lyon’s chances before the interval.

Josua Tuisova was sin-binned late on for a forearm smash to Goode’s face, where the Saracens fly-half avoided any injury.

The hosts took advantage with Earl’s score to close out the night, with Mark McCall’s men relishing their return to club rugby’s top table.