Not taking Care is England's loss and Quins gain, says team-mate
10:00am Friday 1st November 2013 in Sport
By Paddy von Behr
Full-back Mike Brown believes England’s loss will be Harlequins’ gain after scrum-half Danny Care was snubbed by Stuart Lancaster for tomorrow's opening autumn clash with Australia.
With Northampton’s Lee Dickson and British Lion Ben Youngs the preferred number nines, Care was released from England training last week, but responded in the best possible fashion as Quins triumphed over Sale last weekend.
After missing out on a Lions place this summer, 26-year-old Care was rested for England’s summer trip to Argentina, and while he has been one of the few impressive performers in a stuttering Quins side this season, Dickson’s form has seen him slip down the pecking order.
Care could do worse than heed the advice of his teammate however. Brown spent his fair share on time in the shadow of first Ben Foden and then Alex Goode but know he has nailed down the full-back jersey and starts there against Australia at Twickenham.
Backing: Mike Brown has backed team-mate Danny Care Picture: Julian Finney/Getty Images
And Brown is convinced Care will show Lancaster and co exactly what they are missing.
“It’s another position that has great strength in depth,” said Brown. "The two guys that are involved with England have been playing really well, as has Danny at Quins.
“While we are with England we will train hard and while they’re at their clubs they will try and play well.
“He is obviously desperate to play for England. He is a world-class player – he has shown that – so he will keep working hard like he always has.
“I hope it hasn’t knocked his confidence. I personally think he is a brilliant player but so are Dicko and Ben Youngs as well so he will just keep working hard and he has confidence in his own ability, I’m sure. “He is a great lad to have around and he will show everyone what he can do.”
Care has perhaps fallen victim of Quins’ poor start to the season – although his performance against Sale and the praise he received from boss Conor O’Shea will have gone someway to repairing his confidence.
Harlequins captain Chris Robshaw has not however and despite Tom Wood’s strong claims to retain the captaincy after leading the summer tour against the Pumas, Lancaster has stuck by his man – a decision Brown agrees with.
“It is obviously an added bonus but he is such a hard worker he is not focusing on that too much,” added Brown.
“If he wasn’t the captain he is still a big leader within the squad. We don’t just have one leader as the captain – we have a big group of players now that are leaders so it doesn’t matter who is captain.
“We all try and lead in our own way. He has done a brilliant job so far and I am sure he will keep doing a brilliant job.”
David Wilson, Mike Brown and Tom Youngs at Hollins Hall, a Marriott Hotel & Country Club. Marriott, official partner of England Rugby, has teamed up with River Cottage to change the face of hotel food by focusing on seasonal, local, organic and sustainable produce.