Lancaster Plays Hard Ball

Danny Care’s England career is not yet over. That is according to England’s interim head coach, Stuart Lancaster.

The Scrum half has been dropped by Lancaster after his arrest for drunk and disorderly behaviour was followed by a further charge of drink-driving.

The two alcohol related incidents come as Lancaster has pledged to sort out the off field discipline which dominated an all round disappointing World Cup for the England team, who crashed in the Quarter Finals, costing plenty of fans of the rugby betting markets hundreds of pounds.

Lancaster’s interim period will be without Care, who he has worked with throughout his career at Leeds and throughout the England age groups.

Care has been on exceptional form so far this season, playing a key role in Harlequins more than impressive start to the season and he seemed a good bet for a place in the Six Nations squad, and most likely a starting place against Scotland next month. His off the field antics have now cost him a chance to impress and the chance to win up to five more caps for his country.

It is a hard line to off field scandal that seemed to be missing under Johnson’s era and could, perhaps should, mark the way English Rugby will be run for the foreseeable future. It is no surprise that the Welsh team that did so well at the tournament was seemingly invisible off the field, not getting drawn into any scandal whilst England were shocking both on and off the field.

Lancaster says he is not using Care as an example of a new hard line approach, but it will give the impression of doing just that. Care has been hit hard and it shows that under Lancaster at least this sort of behaviour won’t be tolerated.

It is a new era for England in many senses and it appears they are learning from the mistakes of the World Cup. The future must show they have learnt and Care’s punishment suggests they have done just that. If I were looking to stick a pound on the Rugby Union betting markets as to whether Care will play for England again, I would definitley stick it on him playing for England, possibly even before the year is out.