Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Care and co still confident

Danny Care insists England head to Edinburgh for their RBS 6 Nations match against Scotland with their confidence intact despite slumping to an agonising defeat in Paris.

The Murrayfield showdown has become a must-win encounter if they are to remain in the title hunt following Saturday's 26-24 loss at the Stade de France.

England were undone by a superb 77th-minute try from Gael Fickou having dictated much of the game and Care, his team's most dangerous player, believes the team are capable of turning their championship fortunes around.

"If we hadn't played well, the performance had been poor and we'd lost the game we'd be really annoyed. But our performance at times was outstanding," Care said.

"We played some of the best rugby we've played over the past couple of years.

"If we can do that a bit more consistently and be a bit more clinical and ruthless I think we will win a lot of games.

"We don't have a soft underbelly, we're a strong team. The forwards especially put their bodies on the line for 80 minutes. That's all we can ask.

"If we play like that next week hopefully we'll get the right result. We'll learn a lot from this. It's a really tough place to come and play and to be so close is frustrating. We should have won.

"It's a long tournament. We know we've got to win every game now to win the title. That's what we're going to try to do.

"The character of the team is one of the best I've ever known. There's no doubting the heart of everyone and that everyone's going to put their bodies on the line."

Care celebrated his first Test start since last year's Six Nations with a high-quality performance that injected pace into England's attacking game.

It was a mystery why he was substituted with almost 20 minutes remaining given he was revelling in his return to international rugby.

Equally pleasing was Care's partnership with fly-half Owen Farrell, whose own attacking game took a step forward at the Stade de France.

"I really wanted to go out there and play well. It's just great to be back in the England nine shirt. Hopefully I can get a few more games," Care said.

"I loved it. Any time you put on an England shirt it's a massive honour and I absolutely loved every minute of it - at least until Fickou's try. But that's sport.

"You never want to go off, but that's the coach's decision."


From Belfast Telegraph