England: Saracens boss Mark McCall backs Elliot Daly for Test recall and defends Owen Farrell’s tackle

Jared Wright
Saracens boss Mark McCall believes Elliot Daly has done more than enough to earn a recall to the England squad for the Six Nations and has commented on Owen Farrell's suspension.

Saracens boss Mark McCall believes Elliot Daly has done more than enough to earn a recall to the England squad for the Six Nations and has also commented on Owen Farrell’s suspension.

Daly scored a hat-trick in seven minutes and 20 seconds as Saracens claimed a 48-28 win over Lyon in the Champions Cup on Saturday, earning him the player of the match award.

Further tries from Alex Lozowski, Marco Riccioni, Andy Christie and Ben Earl saw the hosts to an impressive victory over the Challenge Cup holders.

‘Outstanding’ Daly

The win means Saracens are three from three in the Champions Cup this season, sealing their place in the round of 16 before their final pool stage match against Edinburgh next weekend.

“We are happy with that; if you had told us before we would score 48 points and get another 20-point win playing the way we did in the first half, then we would have taken that,” McCall commented after the match.

The Saracens boss focused on Daly, saying that his performances this season have been outstanding, adding that he expects him to be named in Steve Borthwick’s maiden England squad.

“Elliot had an outstanding game; I think everyone knows he has been outstanding all season, he was playing well before tonight, and he showed all his qualities again tonight.

“I would expect he will be in the England squad; like I said, he has been playing well, not just at full-back this year, he has been outstanding at full-back, but in the November period when he played outside centre for us, he was strong there too, so I am sure he will be in the squad.

“I would be very surprised if he is not in Steve’s squad on Monday,” McCall added.

Regular captain Farrell missed the win over Lyon through suspension after he was cited for his tackle on Jack Clement. 

Jamie George deputised as captain in his absence, while Alex Goode filled his vacancy at number 10. 

McCall defended Farrell and backed him to come back from his suspension stronger.

‘Outcry has been a bit over the top’

“Owen will comply with what he needs to do,” the Saracens boss said in reference to the World Rugby coaching intervention program that Farrell will perform to have one week shaved off his four-week ban. 

“Everyone knows he has been such a brilliant player; I would say the best player in England over the last 10 years, and what a great leader he has been for club and country.

“You won’t be surprised to hear that Owen is one of those players who works at his craft in all aspects of his game, and this is something that he really wants to get better at, and he works religiously with our defence coach every week.

“The margins are small with that tackle, and, in my opinion, it was at the very low end of that kind of tackle, so I think the outcry has been a bit over the top, to be honest.”

Borthwick will name his first Six Nations squad on Monday, January 16. Meanwhile, Saracens will prepare for their final pool stage match, where they travel to the Scottish capital to face Edinburgh.

READ MORE: Elliot Daly hat-trick steers Saracens past Lyon while Ospreys claim memorable win over Montpellier