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Lancaster hands Care England chance

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Stuart Lancaster (pictured) says Danny Care has earned a place in the England side

Stuart Lancaster (pictured) says Danny Care has earned a place in the England side

Stuart Lancaster (pictured) says Danny Care has earned a place in the England side

England head coach Stuart Lancaster feels Danny Care has now earned the right to resume his international career.

The mercurial scrum-half will return to the England side for the first time since last August on Saturday after being named in Lancaster's team to face South Africa in the third Test. The 25-year-old missed the World Cup last autumn through injury and was dropped for the RBS 6 Nations over a series of alcohol-related off-field incidents.

Lancaster said: "I know he was desperately disappointed not to make the first Test or be on the bench, but I said to him he had to work hard and earn the right to get into the team. I feel he has done that."

Harlequins half-back Care, who has 32 caps, finished the domestic season well and was one of the standout performers in last week's tour match against the Southern Barbarians in Kimberley.

Lancaster said: "Danny and I go back a long way, back to the academy. It is nice to finally coach him again in the starting team and I am looking forward to seeing him perform.

"He had a broad grin on his face when I told him. He is a competitive player and he knows he is in a competitive position with Ben Youngs and Lee Dickson both playing well in the Six Nations."

Care has leapt ahead of Dickson in the pecking order to earn a starting berth following injury to Youngs. Dickson, a substitute in the first two Tests, was again among the replacements as Lancaster announced his side for the clash at Port Elizabeth's Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

In all, Lancaster has made six changes as he looks to secure a consolation win following defeats in Durban and Johannesburg.

Flanker James Haskell has also been given the chance to resurrect his international career in place of injured captain Chris Robshaw. Haskell, who has 42 caps, has not played since last year's disastrous World Cup campaign after opting to play club rugby in Japan and New Zealand.

Other changes see full-back Alex Goode and number eight Thomas Waldrom come in for their first Test starts. Goode is accommodated by Ben Foden's switch back to the wing in place of David Strettle while Waldrom takes over from Ben Morgan.

PA