Elliot Daly set for Saracens return after four-month injury absence

Saracens face tough trip to Sandy Park in the Premiership.

By Press Association Published: 1 December 2021 - 4.16pm

Elliot Daly could make his return from injury when Saracens tackle Gallagher Premiership rivals Exeter on Saturday.

The England back has not played since the British and Irish Lions’ second Test defeat against South Africa four months ago.

He underwent surgery on returning home to resolve a stress fracture.

Wales v England – Guinness Six Nations – Principality Stadium
Elliot Daly in action for England against Wales (David Davies/PA)

But 29-year-old Daly, who has won 52 England caps, took part in Saracens’ warm-up ahead of their Premiership appointment with Sale Sharks last weekend.

And asked about the player’s fitness, Saracens rugby director Mark McCall said: “He is available for selection this weekend.”

It is a big boost for the Premiership title challengers, who currently lie second in the table, seven points and three places above Exeter.

Daly’s potential return comes with Saracens missing the services of injured England stars Owen Farrell and Jamie George.

But they will head to Sandy Park after losing one league game in eight starts this term, and their England international number eight Billy Vunipola in blistering form.

McCall added: “It is a series of games that Billy has put together.

“He has been playing 80 minutes for us every week, he is in great shape, he is playing really good rugby.

“He kind of sets the emotional tone for the team, and I’ve no doubt that he will be right at the heart of that again on Saturday afternoon.”

Saracens meet Exeter for the first time since September 2020, having returned to English rugby’s top flight this season after being relegated last year and fined more than £5million for persistent salary cap breaches.

Mark McCall File Photo
Saracens rugby director Mark McCall (Ashley Western/PA)

Exeter lost the 2018 and 2019 Premiership finals to Saracens at Twickenham and were among the fiercest critics of Saracens’ behaviour.

Asked about motivation, McCall said: “I think we try to keep it on an even keel. We try not to hype things up too much.

“We want to be a really consistent team who don’t pick and choose when we get more motivated than when we don’t.

“There are obviously games certain individuals are going to really enjoy getting up for, and for some people that might be Exeter.

“Our motivation is very inward in lots of ways. We’ve got a really good group who care a lot about what they do and a lot about each other, and that has served us well down the years.”

BT Sport Monthly Pass

Join the home of live sport for just £25 per month. Get instant access to the BT Sport app, with no contract and no BT broadband required.