- Danny Care on the influence of Stuart Lancaster on his young career
- England scrum half backs hands on coach to be right for England
With a knowing smile, England’s Danny Care gave an insight into the coaching style of Interim England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster – both on and off the pitch.
The 24-year-old credits Lancaster with having a considerable impact on getting him to where he is today: 32 England caps and the starting No.9 for swashbuckling Aviva Premiership leaders Harlequins.
The cheeky impudence which aids a budding scrum half was evident in the young Care and Lancaster, in his role as Leeds Carnegie Academy Manager and as a former PE teacher, took time out to help him through school and provide his first break in professional rugby.
Speaking exclusively to RFU.com at an O2 sponsorship appearance last week, Care said: "Lancaster had a massive influence on my career, I was a bit of a toe-rag when I was younger so he really snapped me into gear.
"In a joint effort with my parents, he was massively influential in me getting my A-levels and signed me to the Leeds Academy. He used to take me outside and do private school sessions with me all the time so he’s definitely had a massive influence on me and where I am now."
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With a grin that suggested he was remembering specific occasions, Care continued: "I’ve been on the receiving end of a few telling offs from him when I was younger so I know he has that disciplinary side.
"I think it’s fantastic for him, he’s a great coach and I think he’s been waiting for this kind of chance for a while now and I can’t think of anyone better to have the job."
Lancaster has reiterated the point that the culture and environment in the squad is of paramount importance when they assemble to prepare for the RBS 6 Nations opener against Scotland at Murrayfield on February 4.
Care described Lancaster as a hands on coach said that remembering who they are and what they’re playing for will be impressed upon them under his leadership.
"He’ll be out on the pitch every session, he’s very hands on and I’m sure he’ll get involved if he can," Care said. "He likes to be involved with the players and Lancaster will be all about team spirit.
"Playing for your country is obviously the biggest thing you can ever do and everyone picked in the squad is so lucky to be there – he’ll make sure we know what we are playing for.
"He’s a very proud man, very down the line – so if you step out of that line you will get told."
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Care missed Rugby World Cup 2011 with a toe injury and has recently returned to the Harlequins side, starting the stunning Heineken Cup win in Toulouse last Saturday, the hosts’ first home defeat in Europe for almost three years.
With Quins also having a perfect 10 from 10 record in the Aviva Premiership too, Care added it has been a straightforward return to such a confidents side, which is useful with the 2012 RBS 6 Nations fast approaching.
He added: "I’m delighted to be back – obviously Quins are playing so well this year so I’ve slotted pretty easily into a winning team that’s full of confidence.
"I’ve been dying to get back out there playing rugby for starters but being in an England shirt and playing it the 6 Nations at Murrayfield for that first game is pretty special so hopefully I’ll be there."