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