Elliot Daly eager for England to display attacking talent against Japan

By Sports Desk September 14, 2023

Elliot Daly insists it is time for England to show their teeth in attack as they look to build on the defensive masterclass delivered against Argentina.

Steve Borthwick’s team top Pool D of the World Cup after routing the Pumas 27-10, securing a vital victory even though flanker Tom Curry was sent off for a dangerous tackle in the third minute.

A steely performance addressed concerns about the vulnerability of their defence but with all the points arriving off the boot of George Ford, the deficiencies of an attack that has yet to fire since Borthwick took charge were exposed once more.

Moments of promise in Marseille – most notably a five on two overlap – failed to materialise into tries and Daly is targeting an improvement when the group campaign continues against Japan on Sunday.

“We know how good our attack can be, so hopefully in the next few games we’ll be able to show that,” the Saracens wing said.

“A lot of people wrote us off against Argentina so for us to come out and perform like that and get that scoreline was pretty impressive.

“If we can do the same this weekend, perform how we want to perform and put our game on Japan, let’s see where that takes us.

“We’re not saying we’re going to chuck the ball around, but we’re going to put ourselves in positions in attack to take the opportunities we create.

“We did actually see the space on the weekend, but we probably couldn’t go into it when down to 14. We’re seeing the space a lot more, which is going to create more opportunities with the ball.

“There’s a lot more to come from us and I’m very excited about how we’re approaching it.”

For England to thrive against Japan they must shed their habit of seeing players sent off for illegal challenges having amassed four red cards in six Tests.

Curry’s dismissal against Argentina lifts the total number of cards for their 10 matches this year to nine, the highest of any side ranked in the top 10.

While Daly takes comfort from knowing England have played some of their best rugby when their backs are against the wall, he insists they must be aware of the current climate in the game which sees dangerous play being clamped down on.

“We just need probably to make sure we’re whiter than white, but these things happen, so it’s about we react on the field to that,” he said.

“Obviously we don’t want that in big games, but if we do have it, it’s something we’ve got to shrug off and understand what we’re lacking in that position.

“We understand that we want to keep 15 people on the field but if we don’t it’s how we react to that really.

“We’ve got to understand that if you do go high and it’s 50-50 there’s a chance of a penalty or even worse.”

Borthwick names his starting XV on Friday evening with prop Kyle Sinckler and number eight Billy Vunipola expected to be recalled to the 23 following absences through injury and suspension respectively.

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