England star to leave Wasps at the end of the season
NEWS: England fullback Elliot Daly will leave Wasps at the end of the season, the English Premiership club announced on Monday.
The 26-year-old, mainly deployed as a centre or wing at club level, has long been linked with a move away from Midlands side Wasps amid speculation he will join English champions Saracens.
There was, however, no mention from Wasps as to where Daly would be continuing his career after the talented back decided to trigger a release clause that allowed him to leave with a year remaining on his current contract.
Wasps are currently sixth in the 12-team Premiership, 18 points adrift of second-placed Saracens.
There had been suggestions Daly was unhappy with the training facilities at Wasps but, having risen through the club’s youth ranks, the playmaker insisted that was not why he was leaving ahead of this year’s World Cup in Japan.
“This has been one of the most difficult decisions of my life,” Daly, who has scored 404 points in 188 appearances for Wasps, said in a club statement.
“Despite some of the rumours flying around, the training ground has nothing to do with why I’ve come to my decision to leave. I simply feel it is the right time for me to seek a new challenge next season after the World Cup.”
He added: “I’d like to thank everyone at Wasps, from my old junior academy coaches right up to Dai [Young] and chairman Derek Richardson, for giving me the opportunities and helping me reach the top of the game over the last 12 years.
“Wasps will always have a special place in my heart and I will certainly be giving everything to the jersey to try and finish the season strongly.”
Dai Young, Wasps’ director of rugby, was understandably dejected to see the skilful playmaker leave the club.
“We are really disappointed to lose Elliot, we brought him through the ranks from his teenage years and have seen him flourish into an established England international and also a British and Irish Lion,” added Young, himself a former Wales and Lions front row.
“He has really developed his all-round game in the Black and Gold, having been a tremendous performer for us over the years and I am sure he will continue to give his all for the club till the end of the season.
Daly, who played in all three matches of the British and Irish Lions drawn series in New Zealand two years ago, is not the only player on his way out of Wasps, with England No.8 Nathan Hughes joining Bristol after the end of this season.
Daly produced one of his best displays in his 26-cap England career last weekend, setting up their opening try and scoring the visitors’ second as they launched their Six Nations campaign with an impressive 32-20 victory against reigning champions Ireland in Dublin.
RugbyPass has created a next-generation rugby rating system, based on machine learning and shaped by game-winning moments. The system (RPI) is a world first for its complexity and comprehensive embrace of northern and southern hemisphere players and teams. By using in-depth data analysis, RPI determines exactly what it takes to win, in real time. Explore the RPI now!