Care expects to build on tour
June 24, 2012
Dany Care was awarded the man of the match award on his return to England colours, in the third Test against South Africa © Getty Images
England scrum-half Danny Care believes that England have taken another step forward in their development, despite losing the three-Test series in South Africa 2-0, with the final match drawn.
Care scored England's only try in the 14-14 draw at Port Elizabeth's Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium that at least means that Stuart Lancaster's team return home having avoided a whitewash and ended South Africa's run of nine consecutive Test wins against them. The next time England play is against Fiji on November 10, followed by Tests against Australia, South Africa and New Zealand on consecutive weekends.
"We were disappointed to draw at the end but we will take the positives," Care said. "We have taken a massive step forward and hopefully we can build some momentum for the autumn. I think it has reconfirmed our belief that we can beat the best sides in the world. We have had three games against a very tough team, one of the best in the world, and we have drawn one and lost two. That isn't good enough but we have taken big steps forward. Everyone is dying to get back in an England shirt in the autumn."
The Test marked Care's return to England colours after he had missed the World Cup through injury and the Six Nations because he was suspended for alcohol-related incidents. He fell behind Ben Youngs and Lee Dickson in the scrum-half pecking order, but impressive performances as Harlequins won the Premiership title earned him a place in the tour squad and Youngs' shoulder injury opened the way for him to return to the Test arena.
"It has been nearly a year since I last started for England and it was awesome to be out there, starting and playing a full game," Care said. "I don't know where the man of the match came from but I'll take it. It was great to be back out there. I'm grateful to Stuart for giving me the chance to play again and show what I can do. It is just a shame we didn't get the win we all wanted. I thought our defence was outstanding; the forwards defended their hearts out. We stopped them pretty well, only letting them score one try, but that was one try too many for us. We have high standards and hopefully we can build on this performance."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The Scotland coach enters his first Six Nations with at least one familiar face to look to for inspiration - Joe Schmidt. He chats to Tom Hamilton
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton