Danny Care on Harlequins, England and Premiership derby days
England and Harlequins scrum-half Danny Care is already looking beyond his team’s first Premiership match against Newcastle tomorrow and towards the second-round London derby against Saracens. A major criticism of last year’s otherwise competitive season was the placement of the biggest derbies in the league – Northampton Saints versus Leicester Tigers, Quins versus Saracens and [...] The post Danny Care on Harlequins, England and Premiership derby days appeared first on CityAM.
England and Harlequins scrum-half Danny Care is already looking beyond his team’s first Premiership match against Newcastle tomorrow and towards the second-round London derby against Saracens.
A major criticism of last year’s otherwise competitive season was the placement of the biggest derbies in the league – Northampton Saints versus Leicester Tigers, Quins versus Saracens and Gloucester versus Bath – inside the international windows, leaving those sides without their big stars in the big games.
“You want to test yourself against the best,” Care, who has over 300 Quins appearances, said. “When you play against Saracens, if you could have all of your internationals and they have none it would be great.
“But when everybody’s playing, when you’re playing against Maro [Itoje] and Owen [Farrell] and Jamie George, the Vunipolas [Mako and Billy] – they’ve got some good players when you think about it.
“They’re the games you want to be involved in. It means more when you’ve beaten them with their best players playing. It’s what the fans want to see as well, they come and watch you week in, week out because they want to see the best players go toe to toe. Luckily, this year, we get to do that.”
But before the club face their London rivals they’ve got to go to Newcastle tomorrow in their opener.
The Falcons are under new management after former Quins coach Dean Richards chose to end his tenure in charge on Tyneside.
Dave Walder will lead a club who are notoriously hard to beat at home in another Premiership season that will not feature relegation – a position Newcastle have flirted with in recent times.
“I think whenever you go there, you know you’re in for a tough game,” Care added. “Their forward pack especially, they like to come for the breakdown and the set piece and they’re passionate, very passionate, and I know they bring it.
“I heard Dave Walder earlier talking about how he wants to see a proud team out there and a team that the fans can be proud of.
“It’s going to be a tough game. We went there in the first game last season and managed to get the win, but it wasn’t easy. So we’ve got to pitch up and play well to get a win on the road.”
In recent years, 87-cap Care has enjoyed a lengthy pre-season while out of favour with current England head coach Eddie Jones.
But this year Care, 35, enjoyed a recall to the national set-up just as he was picked to play against England for the Barbarians.
He was part of England’s successful series win against Australia Down Under, with England now having won five out of their last six summer matches in a country where they had never previously won.
Care was hooked early on in the decisive third Test, with the side going on to secure the series in Sydney after levelling a week earlier in Brisbane.
“Obviously, at the time when you get taken off early nothing anybody says to you at that point is going to make you feel great,” Care said.
“But we won the series, we won 2-1 down in Australia, and I never thought I’d get back in so to be able to get back in and have the honour to wear the shirt again meant the world to me.
“And if you’d have said to me a few years ago that would happen in the last Test but you’ll come back after three years out, I’d have snapped your hand off.
“I’m big enough, old enough to definitely take it. It’s happened to me before. And hopefully I’m better equipped than one of the younger lads to take it. But there’s no hiding away from the fact that I didn’t play well.”
Though it is not one of the official Autumn Nations Cup matches, the free-flowing Barbarians are set to take on an All Blacks VX in November.
The side famous for their black and white hoops will be coached by Irish legend Ronan O’Gara and New Zealander Scott Robertson.
“I was meant to play for the Baabaas but ended up playing against them,” Care said. “Hopefully there’s a couple of fixtures at some point this year I could try and get involved with because it looks like an amazing time.”
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