Danny Care hoping to fill void left by Ben Youngs injury
The Harlequins back hopes for a record 78th cap in the number nine jersey.
Danny Care hopes Ben Youngs’ misfortune will enable him to become England’s most capped scrum-half as a starter.
Youngs will miss at least the next NatWest 6 Nations match against Wales and possibly the entire tournament after suffering knee ligament damage in Sunday’s 46-15 victory over Italy in Rome.
The Leicester half-back will undergo a scan upon the squad’s return to their Surrey training base with an update due on Monday evening, but given his obvious discomfort at the Stadio Olimpico the news is unlikely to be good.
Care stepped off the bench to equal Matt Dawson’s record of 77 caps won in the number nine jersey and with Youngs all but ruled out of the Twickenham appointment with Wales, a place in the starting XV awaits.
“You never want to see a bad injury like that and I was gutted to see Ben in so much pain,” Care said.
“First thing’s first, he’s a good mate as well as a competitor for the shirt. He’s in pain and all our thoughts are with him.
“Hopefully, the scan will bring as good as news as we can hope and all the boys are thinking of him.
“He was in the changing room after the game and was still in good spirits, we’re just hoping it will be good news.
“It would be great to get into the number nine shirt for the Wales game having had 70 minutes under my belt which is great because I love being out there with the boys.”
England will call-up an additional scrum-half as cover – Richard Wigglesworth is expected to be summoned – and the new arrival will be thrust into Monday afternoon’s training session.
For the majority of his reign and even when naming a wider squad Eddie Jones has relied on only two scrum-halves in Youngs and Care so for the first time he will reveal his third choice in the position.
England will face Wales buoyed by their seven-try rout of a competitive but outclassed Azzurri that saw Anthony Watson and Sam Simmonds cross twice each in a successful start to their title defence.
Warren Gatland’s men are also brimming with confidence, however, after overcoming the loss of a host of Test British and Irish Lions to crush Scotland 34-7 and ramp up expectations for their visit to Twickenham.
“Hopefully we can hit the ground running from where we left off against Italy,” Care said.
“The Welsh game was very entertaining and we cannot wait to get back to our home patch at Twickenham and welcome them with open arms.
“They’ll be on a high and we will look at what we did well against Italy and what we can work on for Saturday because we know we have to step up to another level.
“We’re going to have to play really well to snuff out all of the Welsh threats while causing them some problems. When Wales are playing like that it’s great rugby to watch.”