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Lions star pens new Wasps deal

British and Irish Lions and England international Elliot Daly has extended his contract with Wasps.

The 24 year-old, who started every Test for the Lions against the All Blacks over the summer, is a product of the club’s Academy and has made 157 appearances for the senior squad since making his debut as an 18-year-old Whitgift school boy in 2010. In that time he has also won 13 caps for England.

Nominated for European Player of the Year the past two seasons, Daly also enjoys the unusual accolade of being the only player to have scored both for and against the Lions, in 2013 for the Barbarians after being selected by current boss and then Baa-Baas Head Coach Dai Young.

He said: “I’m really pleased to have extended my contract with Wasps. In some ways it seems like yesterday that I made my Wasps debut. In other ways, when you think of the progress we’ve made as a club and squad over the past five years in climbing from 11th to 1st at the end of the regular season, it feels like a life-time ago.

“The great thing about this squad is that many of us have grown up together. We’ve been through some tough times and have started to enjoy some much better times. Dai trusted us to go out and show what we could do back then and we’re seeing the benefits of that backing now.

“The core of the squad has remained the same, while Dai’s also added some extra experience and proven internationals to supplement the English talent we’ve developed here. A number of Wasps players who were given a chance as youngsters have gone on to earn international opportunities and hopefully there will be more to come who can enjoy that experience.

“As a squad, we took a big step forward last season by reaching the Aviva Premiership Final. While the hurt is still there for coming up short, on reflection it was a good season and hopefully one we will learn from. We need to improve across the board, but we have a great platform to build on and I feel our squad has the talent and mind-set to continue challenging at the highest level. I’m enjoying the extra responsibility I’ve been given in the leadership group and look forward to playing my role in the squad’s development and hopefully helping Wasps to succeed this season.”

Young added: “Elliot is an integral member of our squad and it is fantastic for the club that he has signed a contract extension with us. Despite his relatively young years, he already has a wealth of experience. He has consistently been one of our stand-out players over recent seasons and has seized every opportunity that has come his way on the back of those performances. I was really pleased for him that he was able to show everyone exactly what he’s capable of at the very highest level during the Lions tour.

“Elliot is one of the key leaders in the group and the exciting thing is there is still so much to come from him. He isn’t even 25 yet, but he has really matured as a player and a person over the last couple of seasons and the best is yet to come.

“As a Director of Rugby, I was also pleased that Elliot committed to the club with a season still to run on his current contract. We’re not daft, we know a player of his class would have topped a number of clubs’ lists when January came round, but Elliot believes in the potential of our squad and is happy that this is a place where he will continue to produce his best rugby.”

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