Danny Care kicked out of EPS squad following drink-driving arrest

England and Harlequins scrum-half Danny Care has been excluded from England’s EPS squad following his second arrest within three weeks, both times for a drinking offence.

Care was originally arrested on December 10th for being drunk and disorderly on a night out in Weybridge, but news has emerged again this morning that Care was arrested on New Year’s Eve for drink-driving. Following the shambles of England’s drinking antics at the Rugby World Cup, of which Care was not involved due to injury, Stuart Lancaster’s direct disciplinary action will set a precedent to the rest of the players involved within the national setup.

According to the Telegraph, he was allegedly twice over the legal limit, and his case will be heard on the 16th of January. Care recently returned from the foot injury that kept him out of the Rugby World Cup, and scored a try in the New Year’s Eve win over Exeter. In many people’s eyes the man to start for England during the Six Nations, his exclusion is hugely disappointing but the correct call from Lancaster.

Care has now released a statement:

“I do accept that I made a very bad decision on the evening in question and need to take the punishment that the courts hand out. I have decided not to contest the charge as I want to bring this to a close swiftly rather than have it hanging over my head for a year or more.

I would stress though that at no time did I think I had drunk enough to be over the legal limit. However I should not have got into the car and have to accept the consequences of that action.

I am devastated not to be selected for the Elite Player Squad for the Six Nations as I felt I had been playing near the top of my game with Quins. However I wish the team, and the other number 9s who come in to play, the best of luck as playing for your country is the highest honour in the game and I will miss it hugely. It’s now up to me to get my head down, keep playing well and learn from my actions.

Quins and Stuart have been very supportive and I totally accept their sanctions .I do understand the need for England players to be role models in the game and have tried to live up to that at all times, but have made a couple of stupid decisions in the past weeks. I can only hope for the chance in the future to prove those decisions were the exception not the rule. I am devastated because my actions have let so many people down.”

It leaves Ben Youngs as England’s only recognised scrum-half, with Richard Wigglesworth out for the season and Joe Simpson struggling for form with London Wasps.

Who should replace Care in the EPS? Lee Dickson? Paul Hodgson? Ben Spencer? Let us know.

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe/Onside Images

14 thoughts on “Danny Care kicked out of EPS squad following drink-driving arrest

  1. Livid. He has been in top form since he came back for Harlequins, looked sharp and for me was well in contention to start in the Six Nations.

    Inexcusable behaviour, the first arrest was bad enough. Massively disappointing.

  2. This throws the door wide open then for the back-up 9. Simpson almost certain to get it through default now.

  3. I think Simpson is the likely call up, but Dickson has been pretty impressive. I’d like to see him get his chance. If he’d had more time with Leicester since he arrived Mickey Young would be a pretty decent call as he is similar in his style to Care and looked good in the Saxons squad, but injury has seen him play only a few times for Leicester’s senior side.

    Paul Hodgson does not impress me. He is very one dimensional, none of the speed, none of the brains. Even in the Churchill cup against much weaker sides he seemed out of his depth on a lot of occasions.

    This is very disappointing from Care. Drink driving isn’t a joke, I hope he’s appropriately punished by his team and the RFU. A bunch of guys having a few drinks is one thing, this is very different

  4. Statement from Danny Care:

    “I do accept that I made a very bad decision on the evening in question and need to take the punishment that the courts hand out. I have decided not to contest the charge as I want to bring this to a close swiftly rather than have it hanging over my head for a year or more.

    I would stress though that at no time did I think I had drunk enough to be over the legal limit. However I should not have got into the car and have to accept the consequences of that action.

    I am devastated not to be selected for the Elite Player Squad for the Six Nations as I felt I had been playing near the top of my game with Quins. However I wish the team, and the other number 9s who come in to play, the best of luck as playing for your country is the highest honour in the game and I will miss it hugely. It’s now up to me to get my head down, keep playing well and learn from my actions.

    Quins and Stuart have been very supportive and I totally accept their sanctions .I do understand the need for England players to be role models in the game and have tried to live up to that at all times, but have made a couple of stupid decisions in the past weeks. I can only hope for the chance in the future to prove those decisions were the exception not the rule. I am devastated because my actions have let so many people down.”

  5. As much as it pains me to say it as an avid Care fan, this needed to happen. It also shows Lancaster is no soft touch, especially as he has more history with this player than pretty much any other that is currently near the EPS.

    So, Simpson up to number 2, does that mean Foden will cover at SH or will Lancaster call up a third?

  6. Shame really, I’m not a massive Danny care fan, but it’s obvious he’s the in from 9 at the moment!! Youngs, Simpson and dickson for me!!! And if Simpson doesn’t make it, then Spencer would be there or thereabouts…

  7. I am not and never have been a DC fan. not least because of the number of times ive seen him down the ship in Wandsworth getting battered on a sunday during season, with , lets say, one of the most arrogant attitudes of rugby players ive met.

    this behaviour therefore doesn’t surprise me at all.

    DC has never delivered at top level and hopefully well see simpson have a go. hes a model professional and from what ive heard kept his head down with england in NZ and worked his ass off. hes a very ambitious guy as well but strikes me as having the attitude to prosper.

    1. I think he delivered at top level on his debut (scoring a try against the ABs and having a great game) and several other occasions where i do think hes looked sharp at the top level. But hes never backed it up with a string of performances, injuries and silly incidents like this haven’t helped. I still think he could deliver at some point.

  8. Hodgson’s time was 3 seasons ago, he didn’t get his chance when on song, and is surely not going to get it now given that he doesnt looks as good as he once was.

    Simpson’s pace is obviously a massive threat, and im sure it would be nice to see him behind a pack not getting battered, but Dickson is the better passer/decision maker of the pair imho.

    From an English point of view, we could really do with Youngs recapturing the form he showed last season as, when Genia was out of sorts, he looked the best 9,not only in England, but the world.

    His form this year has been pretty uninspiring on the whole, but hopefully with some gametime and a bit of confidence, he can make the 9 journey his own again.

    p.s What is it with these players from Otley? Must be a horrible place!

    1. Agreed England need Youngs to capture that form from the 2 Aus victories he was our most important back imho. He also really brought the best out of Flood.

      Simpson could be class as well, I’ve not watched much of wasps this year but hes always talked about well. Also used to being under the cosh witch is good to learn from.

      Dickson I see as a good player but don’t really see the potential of Youngs or Simpson. Dickson looks good behind a pack that rarely goes backwards but i don’t see him conjuring up magic like the other 2 do.

  9. Have to applaud Lancaster. Not only has he done the right thing even without much experienced back up at SH, but he has also met with the player and seems to have spoken to the club and got them onside too. At last someone doing the right thing!

  10. Really impressed by this. No attempt to sweep it under the rug. A player has done something wrong and appropriate discipline has been taken. Lancaster said straight away one of his main objectives was to restore discipline, morals and standards – and he is obviously devoted to doing this. Fingers crossed this is the start of a new era.

  11. Hat’s off to Stuart Lancaster. Glad to see we’ve got a manager who is willing install some discipline into the team.

    So Youngs, Simpson and Dickson are surely the first three choices for scrum half currently. Should make it very interesting come selection time.

  12. if care hadn’t done this he would be above youngs but have people forget wigglesworth or is he injured???

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