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Care itching to start against Azzurri

01 March 2013

  • Care in "form of his career"
  • Harlequins man made 28 passes in 21 minutes vs France

Scrum half Danny Care reckons he is in the best form of his career and is itching to get his first RBS 6 Nations start of the tournament against Italy on Sunday.

The 26-year-old has only featured as a substitute so far in this year’s RBS 6 Nations but played a pivotal role in the 23-13 victory over France, coming on after 59 minutes for Ben Youngs.

While Youngs has been the scrum half of choice so far in the tournament, Care’s performance has put him firmly in the running for a start against The Azzurri. The Harlequins man made 28 passes in his 22 minutes on the pitch and helped England gain a stranglehold over a French side that had been threatening all match.

“It was great to get on at that time as I thought we had the ascendancy in the game,” said Care.  “We just needed to finish it off and raise the tempo. I think we did that and closed the game out well. Our defence was outstanding. We didn’t really get broken and we closed the game off which was what the job was to do.

“I was happy coming off the bench and I didn’t know I had made that many passes but I knew how tired I was after. I was definitely pretty tired as tempo was so high but it was great to get on and get the win.”

Care’s form for Quins is one factor keeping him in the running for the No.9 shirt against Italy. So far this season in the Aviva Premiership and Heineken Cup Care has scored nine tries – the most he has ever scored for the club in one season and there are still seven games to play.

Care makes contact in training with England this week

Photo Credit: Getty Images

“I am really happy with my form this last part of the season,” he said. “I am in the best form I have ever been in really and am itching to play. I am enjoying training but there’s only so much training you want to do. You want to be out there playing and we have one more home game to Italy and obviously Wales away- two massive games to finish off this Six Nations well.”

England are the only unbeaten side left in the RBS 6 Nations after wins over Scotland, Ireland and France and are on course for a first Grand Slam since 2003. However, while many are billing the clash with Wales on March 16 as the Grand Slam decider, Care says the team are taking it one game at a time and is confident that the strength and depth of the squad will come in to play on Sunday.

“Whoever plays (on Sunday) will do a great job,” he said. “The strength and depth in the squad at the moment is massive, you would struggle to find a position where someone would come in and not do a great job. We have got three or four in every position and that’s great as everyone is pushing each other to get better and better.

“There’s obviously a lot of competition for places and training is ramping up and you want to show that you can play. I think whoever gets picked for that Italy game will do a good job.”