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Lancaster could take Care

Harlequins scrum-half Danny Care will be considered for England's summer tour of South Africa by head coach Stuart Lancaster.

The 25-year-old missed this season's Six Nations Championship following a series of off-field controversies. One matter remains the subject of police inquiries but Lancaster has met with the player and is prepared to offer him another opportunity, form permitting.

Lancaster said: "Danny Care is someone I have met recently and I am pleased with what he is doing off the field in terms of working hard to force himself back into contention. I had a positive meeting with him and he is one I will consider for the tour."

England play three Tests against South Africa in June during a five-match trip. Lancaster, who has confirmed the temporary appointment of Mike Catt to his coaching staff, has said he intends to pick a squad of 42 players.

His initial selection will be named next week but changes could be made as a result of injuries with some club fixtures still outstanding. Fly-half Danny Cipriani, who will join Sale Sharks next season, is unlikely to force his way into the reckoning following his early release by Melbourne Rebels.

Lancaster said: "Danny Cipriani is another one but I think the next step for him is to go to Sale, do the pre-season. He is in a competitive position. Hopefully he will earn the right to get back in there next season."

Flanker James Haskell, who will next season rejoin Wasps from Super 15 side Highlanders, is in Lancaster's thoughts although he has just been hit with a three-week ban for punching.

"James Haskell will be coming back into equation," Lancaster said. "I have spoken to him about his availability. James has a three-week ban - his next game would be May 26, then he will play a Super 15 on June 2 and then join us, if selected."

Lancaster is already without a number of players through injury and confirmed that Leicester flanker Tom Croft is the latest casualty. Croft was carried off on a stretcher in a neck brace during his side's victory over Harlequins on April 21.

Lancaster said: "He won't be available for the tour, that neck injury is sufficiently serious to rule him out."


From Belfast Telegraph