Danny Care: It is a ‘dream’ to be back in the England set-up after three years in the wilderness
Danny Care admits it’s a ‘dream come true’ to be back in England after three years in the international wilds – and the scrum half insists he’s better than ever at 35!
- Danny Care has revealed his excitement about returning to the England squad at the age of 35
- The experienced scrum half has been called up for the upcoming tour of Australia
- And Care has maintained that he is better now than when he was last a Test match player
Danny Care declared his shocked return to England a ‘dream come true’ and then sent a clear message to Eddie Jones by insisting he is better now than when he was last a Test player.
Veteran Harlequin’s scrum-half Care was part of head coach Jones’ 36-strong party that left for Australia on Tuesday and a crunch-three Test series against the Wallabies.
Care, 35, will be featured in his first international since November 2018 Down Under. He came off the bench when England were hammered 52-21 by the Barbarians in an uncapped clash last Sunday.
Danny Care (pictured) has revealed his excitement about returning to the England squad at the age of 35
Veteran Harlequins star Care also sent a clear message to national team boss Eddie Jones (pictured) by insisting he is better now than when he was last a test player in late 2018
He said: ‘The whole week was a dream come true. It’s something you think will never happen again. I just tried to enjoy it and enjoy every second of it. If you’ve been in it for a long time, like I have, you appreciate playing for England.
“If you can’t do that anymore and can’t get into it anymore, you want to go there even more. I don’t know how long it’s going to take, but one thing I’ll do is make sure I give it my all. I’ll try to take every chance I get.
“I definitely think I’m a better player now than I was four years ago, even three years ago. The main thing I try to focus on is enjoying. It sets me free when I don’t think too much about things. That’s my type of game. When I think about things, I don’t play my best rugby.’
A cup of coffee with Jones was the start of the international scrum-half return and Care will now play a crucial role against Australia.
Ben Youngs is not part of the tour following the tragic death of sister-in-law Tiffany, who was married to Ben’s brother Tom, the former English hooker. Harry Randall and the uncapped Jack van Poortvliet are the other two scrum halves.
Care is in good form for his club in the Premiership and helped them win last year’s title
But neither possesses Care’s international character or the form that has made him the pinnacle of his position in the Gallagher Premiership over the past two seasons.
“He (Jones) texted me around April and I thought I’d take my chance and see what happens. I had nothing to lose,” said Care, who has 84 caps.
‘We met for a cup of coffee. He was complimentary about how I played, so I was happy about that. I put it on the line and said I would give everything to get another chance and help the team.
‘I think I can. The dream would be to help the boys win a few games in Australia.”
Care is one of 10 players in the current England squad to take an impressive 3-0 series win on the last Australian tour in 2016. He is back in the international picture alongside number 8 Billy Vunipola and eight uncapped rookies.
The 35-year-old brought speed and urgency to England’s attack when he came on as a substitute in a damaging 52-21 defeat to the Barbarians at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday
England’s journey to the first Test against Australia in Perth on July 2 began on Tuesday when the squad took off on four separate flights, with the players in business class.
Travel planning issues in the wake of the pandemic prevented England from getting all of its players and staff on the same plane.
“If you go to Australia, you have to be brave,” Care said. “You have to try to win the game. It’s a place where you’re not really loved, which is great. I think the young guys will really like that.
“It’s a great opportunity to build a relationship that will hopefully serve us well for the fall and the Six Nations and hopefully the World Cup.
“Going to places like Australia, hostile environments, and trying to win will be really helpful for some of these young guys.”