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O'Shea and Quins back Care

Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea pledged his backing for Danny Care after the out-of-favour England scrum-half helped his side to a 14-6 Aviva Premiership home victory over Bath.

O'Shea kept faith with Care, who has been questioned and bailed by West Yorkshire police over an alleged sexual assault on a woman in Leeds earlier this month. He denies the allegation.

"I was never going to leave him out," O'Shea said. "Danny's made his mistakes, they are well documented. He's learning from his mistakes. What he has to understand is that he will be an easy target and we are absolutely supporting him in this case."

O'Shea added: "There's plenty of stuff we've put around Danny that he's working on, both from technical scrum-half play to lifestyle. We are absolutely behind him."

O'Shea also defended Maurie Fa'asavalu, Quins' Samoa World Cup flanker.

The former St Helens rugby league player scored the only try of the match before being yellow-carded by referee Wayne Barnes for an illegal challenge on Bath's teenage fly-half Tom Heathcote.

Bath rugby director Sir Ian McGeechan, who revealed that Heathcote suffered a whiplash injury when Fa'asavalu charged into him without using his arms in the tackle, said: "I hope the citing officer is looking after it.

"He (Heathcote) is 20. We've got to look after these boys."

But O'Shea said: "My immediate thoughts are to have a long, hard look at it. I haven't seen it in slow motion but he comes in to make a dominant hit, he does try to get his arms out and around but Tom Heathcote is falling. The referee saw what happened and deemed it a yellow card.

"People who know Mo, both from St Helens days and from here, know he's not a loose cannon going round the pitch. He's an incredibly physical bloke but he's not a dangerous player."


From Belfast Telegraph