Danny Care back in England team after four years in wilderness
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Care has been picked on the bench as scrum-half cover for the starting Harry Randall nearly four years after he made the last of his 84 Test appearances, when he fell out with Eddie Jones.
The 35-year-old’s electric form for Harlequins over the last two seasons has earned him a recall, with Jones viewing his influence in attack as being ideal for the speed of the modern game.
“I’ve always liked Danny as a player. He played a lot of Tests for me early on, from 2016 to 2018,” said Jones.
“He’s got the ability to jump on a break and make sure the attack keeps going forward which, given the speed of the ball in today’s game, is invaluable. And he’s a good character. Since he been in camp he’s been fantastic, really rejuvenated, spring in his step, sparkle in his eye. He’s a little bit wiser than he was before so it’s really positive.”
What role Care is to play in Jones’ plans beyond Sunday remains uncertain, with England’s head coach declining to say whether he will be involved in next month’s tour to Australia. He will be 36-years-old by the time the next World Cup arrives and is behind at least Randall and Ben Youngs in the scrum-half hierarchy, but Jones refused to close any doors.
“The only thing we’re worried about this week is the Barbarians. We’ll finish with the Barbarians and then worry about the Australia tour. I know it sounds boring but that’s how it is,” said Jones.
“I don’t think age is a consideration. It’s about his desire to want to get better and whether physically he can do it. Certainly this week he’s shown us nothing untoward.
“Our younger players benefit from conversations with guys like Courtney Lawes and Jonny May and Danny Care.
“They’ve got the wisdom of experience and they can share situations with them, share the feelings that they have.”