Care ruled out for England
June 6, 2014
Ben Youngs starts at scrum-half for England on Saturday © Getty Images
England have suffered a huge blow ahead of Saturday's first Test against the All Blacks with the news Danny Care will miss the game due to a shoulder injury, a piece of misfortune that has handed Ben Youngs a chance to shine from the outset.
Care picked up the injury in training on Monday in a farcical training ground incident and though Andy Farrell found it hilarious at the time, it soon descended into worry when it became Care had picked up a shoulder injury.
"It was Danny's own fault actually. It was a rubbish kick," England assistant coach Farrell said. "He stubbed his foot on the floor and missed the ball completely. He fell over and hurt his shoulder. It was absolutely hilarious. I burst out laughing but then realised it wasn't too funny.
"It was a little grubber through on the floor, which he miskicked. He won't be doing it again! I've got it on tape. I showed it to all the lads the next day - it was hilarious. But it wasn't quite as good two days later when he wasn't playing in the Test match. Anyway, we'll get over it."
Despite Stuart Lancaster keeping everything crossed that the No.9 would be fit for Saturday's game, they have decided not to risk him meaning Youngs comes into the starting XV with Lee Dickson, who arrived in Auckland on Thursday, named among the replacements.
England are already without a host of options for the first Test though Care was one of the few first-choice players available for Lancaster. Despite the temptation to see how his shoulder would hold up, Lancaster will now hope to use Care in the second Test in Dunedin.
"Danny is getting there but we won't take any risks and we need every player to be 100%," Lancaster said. "Ben Youngs is one of our most experienced players - he has played against the All Blacks three times and is raring to go. Lee has known all week that he could be featuring so we managed his preparation accordingly."
For Youngs, he will now start his first Test for England since the final match of the 2013 Six Nations. "It's a shame for Danny as I know he has worked hard to be fit for the game," Youngs said. "But it's a great to be starting against New Zealand at Eden Park and I know with four scrum-halves in the squad there is a massive amount of competition for me to perform for the team and be at the top of my game."
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