“I can’t wait to get out there and get involved,” was the reaction of Elliot Daly after the Wasps and England centre, a product of Whitgift School’s rugby production line, was named in the 41-man British and Irish Lions squad for the daunting tour to New Zealand this summer.
Lion: Former Whitgift School pupil Elliot Daly
And Daly is not the only south Londoner in the squad, as Kyle Sinckler, the Harlequins prop forward, was also named, probably the biggest surprise inclusion in coach Warren Gatland’s touring party.
Daly and Sinckler are both 23. Indeed, the pair might have played in the same school team had Whitgift’s overtures to the tyro prop to lure him from Tooting’s Graveney School to south Croydon for the sixth form been more successful. Instead, Sinckler opted for Epsom College, while Daly went on to figure prominently in Whitgift’s two English Schools’ Cup successes at Twickenham.
Since when, they have featured on the same team at Twickenham, for England, as Daly has made himself a regular in the Six Nations-winning XV over the past 12 months, while Sinckler has won eight caps, all as a replacement, coming on as a dynamic force among what coach Eddie Jones calls his “finishers”. Continue reading