Setbacks, pain and fury put England’s Danny Care on the road to Six Nations …

Danny Care has drawn on memories of pain and fury to catapult him back on to England’s ‘most wanted’ list .

The Harlequins scrum-half has been a driving force in the first two rounds of Six Nations matches, tormenting France and Scotland with his trickery.

Prior to those games he had started just one for England in a year, slipping down the pecking order behind Lee Dickson and Ben Youngs.

Yet he will be one of the first names on the team sheet when Stuart Lancaster picks his side to face Ireland at Twickenham a week today.

It is a fixture to send a shiver up his spine after what happened in 2009 when his sin-binning in Dublin caused then boss Martin Johnson to explode.

Johnson smashed his fist on a bench in fury at the sight of Care costing England their chance of victory by charging recklessly into a ruck.

That was followed in 2011 by a broken toe ruling him out of his first World Cup.

David Rogers

Back: Care scores a drop goal during the RBS Six Nations match between Scotland and England


In hindsight, however, that ordeal has been the making of the player he has become.

Care’s renaissance is a triumph for ambition over adversity.

“The coaches have now put their faith in me,” he said. “It’s a great thing to go out there knowing they believe in me.

“I look back to when I was sin-binned in 2009. I don’t think I’ll ever get Johnno’s face out of my head.

“As for the World Cup it was heartbreaking for me to miss it – so hard to take.

“It didn’t go great for the boys, but I’d have still loved to have been there.

“Representing your country at a World Cup is everything you dream of.”

There have also been off-field issues for Care, 27, along the way, but with the full support of Quins boss Conor O’Shea he has come out the other side.

“When you go out in an England shirt there’s so much pressure to perform,” he added.

“There’s times I’ve just been given a game to come in and make a big impact and probably tried too hard and ended up making mistakes.

“Experience has taught me you’re a lot better off just relaxing into it and going out there to play your game.

“That’s what I’m trying to do at the moment.”

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