Elliot Daly will breathe a sigh of relief when Jimmy Gopperth’s return for Wasps against Ulster puts him back in familiar territory.
Such was the extent of Wasps’ injury crisis that the England and Lions back suddenly became an emergency fly-half.
Daly is versatile, having played centre, wing and full back — but the last time he wore No 10 was as a 16-year-old at Whitgift school.
Wasps have been without so many players – 15 for the last match against Saracens – Daly hastily had to learn this new role.
Two primary playmakers, Danny Cipriani and Gopperth were out injured, meaning full-back Rob Miller has run an unfamiliar attacking line, with Daly his unlikely understudy.
‘When Danny and Jimmy both go you have to react to a completely different backline,’ said Daly.
‘Rob (Miller) Brendan (Macken), and I have never played as a 10-12-13 ever I don’t think – not even in training.
Versatile Daly suddenly became an emergency fly-half due to Wasps’ injury crisis
‘Last week we just kept it simple with the two new people playing there. It was one of those things – we had to talk through everything and make sure everyone was ok with it.’
If more fall, Daly may be needed to step in at 10. Covering for this new position he has picked the brain of Wasps captain and pack-leader Joe Launchbury.
‘I don’t have to learn all the lineout calls – that would be hell,’ he added.
‘But we’ll know whether we want a four, five, six or seven-man. You give it to them and they’ll sort it out. You just want the ball, really.
The last time Wasps star Daly wore No 10 was as a 16-year-old at Whitgift school
‘I’d be involved in the (meetings) already, but I’d probably take notes more because I’d have to be calling it if it comes to it.’
‘I probably haven’t got my hands on the ball as much as I’d have wanted to so far. I’m going to try to link with some players in these next two games and make things happen.’
Cipriani is still out but luckily for Wasps Gopperth is back at fly-half. England No 8 Nathan Hughes and Launchbury both also return to start in Belfast.
Against Ulster Wasps will look to forgot a terrible start to the domestic season, where they have lost four in a row – their worst run for three-and-a-half years.
They must stop a familiar foe, former Wasp Charles Piutau.
And Daly thinks the the hot-stepping 25-year-old All Black is one of the best finishers in the the world.
‘You give him the ball close to the try-line and he is going to get there somehow,’ said Daly.
‘Anything is on at any time. He is strong in the close quarters and he has got good acceleration as well.
‘He is a great guy – someone you just pass the ball to and he does something special. We have to look at him on Friday – it would be nice if he was on our side.
‘Hopefully we can shut him down.’