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Care-less England seek to rebuild

England's interim head coach Stuart Lancaster banned Danny Care from Six Nations duty as he attempts to rebuild the public's pride in their national team.

Care, 25, has been excluded from the England squad following his arrest for drink driving in the early hours of New Year's Day, three weeks after he was fined by police for being drunk and disorderly. The Harlequins scrum-half, who has said he will plead guilty when he appears in court on January 16, on Wednesday outlined his sense of shame and devastation at this latest incident.

But Lancaster, having reprimanded Care last month, told him his actions were "completely unacceptable" and that he would not be considered by England until he could be trusted again, and assistant coach Graham Rowntree said: "You just can't do it as a leading professional sportsman. We are at the start of a new campaign. We can't tolerate it and that is why we have taken the stance we have."

The management team of Lancaster, Rowntree and Andy Farrell are attempting to rebuild the image of England rugby after such a damaging World Cup campaign.

Lancaster insisted Care's punishment was not designed to send out a strong message about discipline to the rest of the players - but it will do so.

When the squad come into camp on January 23, they will head to Yorkshire League Two club West Park Leeds instead of their usual luxurious resort in Portugal.

The squad will have curfews imposed and limits placed on their drinking, they will take part in community work and special guest speakers will be brought in to remind the players what it means to represent England.

Lancaster said: "We have a situation where the reputation of young players in the country isn't great. I think there is a perception out there and I know the players well enough to know they won't enjoy that perception.

"That's part of the reason we are going to a camp at a Yorkshire Two club. They want to help redress it and by doing some community work while we're there, doing some work with coaches from around the area.

"We are trying to make sure that people from grassroots level feel a connection with the England team again. When Graham and I turn up to our local junior club on a Sunday morning with our kids and we go in the clubhouse, we want them to think that the England team is a team they can associate with and be proud of."


From Belfast Telegraph