Former Leeds Carnegie scrum-half Danny Care believes that England must forget the glory of last December’s win over New Zealand and “front-up” to Scotland when the two sides meet in the RBS Six Nations opener tomorrow, Saturday, writes Mark Berry.
The 26 year-old from Leeds will start on the bench at Twickenham tomorrow with Stuart Lancaster’s England touted as one of the pre-tournament favourites following December’s sensational 38-21 win over the All Blacks.
But Care believes that beating the world champions has no bearing on the Scotland game, saying: “Obviously the New Zealand game was a massive win for us and a performance that was coming for a couple of years but it’s only one game and we know we have got to play very well against Scotland.
“We know it is going to be a very passionate game and a massive battle.
“They will come with a lot of physicality and big forwards and we will have to front up to them.”
Those expecting England to stroll to a Calcutta Cup success should be cautious, according to Care. “We have got to be realistic”, he said. “We knew against New Zealand that we played very well, caught them on an off day and we deserved that win.
“Playing Scotland will be completely different. They don’t really like us very much, which we enjoy, and we relish that challenge.”
After off-the-field problems cost him a place in last year’s Six Nations squad, Care’s return to form for Harlequins and a renewed focus has put him back in the reckoning and the Leeds man admits that he has grown up a little.
“My game has come on quite a lot through getting a bit older. I have learned a bit and playing in big games is massive.
“There is so much strength in depth coming through and also established players [in the England squad].
“There is always a good battle at nine and I look forward to it. No-one knows what the team is going to be and that’s good because it keeps everyone on their toes and competing hard.
“I am happy with how I have played. That’s all I could have done, play well and put my hand up.
“I love to play quickly. That’s the way we play at Quins, it’s the way England want to play as well and it suits me.
“There are times when you have to slow it down and kick but I have worked on that part of my game as well.”
Read today’s Wakefield Express for more from England boss Stuart Lancaster and players Danny Care and Owen Farrell.