RUGBY ROUND-UP: Elliot Daly yesterday became the latest product of Whitgift School to get a call-up to England colours, when the 20-year-old Wasps centre was named in the Saxons squad.
The Saxons are effectively the England B squad, with its players given international experience and shadowing the senior national squad, which going into the 2013 Six Nations Championship is again to be captained by former Warlingham player Chris Robshaw.
Daly is part of an outstanding generation of Whitgift sportsman, having won two Daily Mail Cup finals at Twickenham in a side which also included Lawrence Okoye, who last summer made it into the final of the discus at the London Olympics, as well as Marland Yarde, now playing regularly on the win for London Irish, and Quins’ young local forward George Merrick.
Daly, Yarde and Merrick have all represented England at under-20 level. Daly is the first Whitgift player to get senior rugby recognition since Danny Cipriani.
Daly played his junior club rugby at Dorking and won a sports scholarship at the South Croydon school – he also won England honours at junior level at cricket.
A member of the Wasps Academy, he has been playing in the senior side at the former Premiership and European champions since before he left school, and this season has been in increasingly eye-catching form.
England Saxons are due to play Ireland’s B squad in Galway on January 25, and there will be a tour to Argentina in the summer. England hosts the Rugby World Cup in 2015…
- Daly’s successors at Whitgift have a tough task on their hands next Wednesday, January 16, when the under-18s take on Hampton School in the sixth round of the Daily Mail Cup [UPDATE: this match is being played under floodlights at Esher RFC, 7.30pm kick-off]. Hampton have so far scored 181 points and conceded just three in four cup games. A place in the quarter-finals awaits the winners.
On a more prosaic level, Croydon’s local clubs were back in action at the weekend, with Warlingham grinding out a 12-8 win over Old Dunstonians at Hamsey Green in London 2SE. On Saturday they travel to Deal and Betteshanger – a club who traditionally drew its players from the Royal Marines on the Medway and from miners in the Kent pits, so it could be a tough ask.
In the division below, Purley John Fisher moved to fourth in the London 3SW table with a romping 52-10 win at Old Paulines.
Old Mid-Whitgiftians, though, were trounced 20-3 at London Exiles, fly-half Dan Crouch the only Midwife to trouble the scorer.
Repeatedly penalised, allowing Exiles to take advantage in territory and on the scoreboard, Mids were not really hungry enough and conceded possession too easily at the breakdown. Centre Andrew Dean, with fierce tackling and strong running, set up a good platform on a number of occasions, but his team mates’ support play was not sharp or forceful enough in an overall sluggish performance.
Old Mid-Whitgiftians are at home this Saturday at Lime Meadow Avenue (2.15pm kick-off).
In Surrey 1, Old Whitgiftians moved to third in the table, on the brink of a promotion place, thanks to a 19-15 win at Kingston. But Croydon‘s dire 2012 was carried into 2013 as they were thrashed 46-13 at home by Old Walcountians.
That result saw the Woodmansterne club to drag themselves out of the relegation zone. For West Wickham-based Croydon, they face a gruelling three months towards an inevitable end to the season.
Down in Surrey 2, Streatham and Croydon‘s new year got off to the worst possible start, losing 25-38 at Frant Road to lowly Old Emanuel. Some consolation was found in the home side grabbing a fourth-try bonus point in the final minutes, but that may prove to be not enough to maintain the momentum of their promotion push.
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