Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Lancaster keeping an eye on Care

Danny Care

Stuart Lancaster warned Danny Care he is "treading a very fine line" following his recall to the England squad for this summer's tour of South Africa.

Care was excluded from England's Six Nations plans following his arrest for drink driving in the early hours of New Year's Day, one of four recent brushes with the law. The Harlequins scrum-half is currently on police bail after being arrested on suspicion of sexual assault, a claim he denies, but Lancaster has been assured the case will not impact on the tour.

The England coach has met with Care and is confident the 25-year-old now has a clear understanding of what is expected of him, as Lancaster said: "In order to be an England player on the field you have to be able to lead yourself off the field. Danny needed to reassure me he could."

He added: "I met Danny. I am pleased with the progress he has made and the maturity he is now showing off the field.

"It is a great opportunity but equally he knows he is treading a very fine line, but I trust him enough to have the confidence to take him. He is a player in form and playing at a good club who are in a big (Premiership) semi-final this weekend.

"I spoke to the solicitor involved (in the case) and there will be nothing happening during the tour. There is no period where he will be brought back during the tour.

"I am very much with Conor (O'Shea, Harlequins director of rugby) on this one - we understand the context of what went on that particular evening and Danny's selection is the right one."

Saturday's semi-final will see Care, who has been in the best form of his career this season, go head-to-head with Northampton's Lee Dickson, the incumbent England scrum-half.

Care revealed this week he had not touched alcohol since the middle of March in a bid to get his England career back on track.

"It's been a while off the booze now. I don't have a drink problem - but I've made bad decisions when I've been drinking and now, hopefully, the trouble will go away," Care said. "The common theme is that I was getting into trouble when I was out drinking and that's why I stopped."

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