Danny Care has been told he could yet feature for England at next year’s Rugby World Cup after earning a surprise recall from head coach Eddie Jones for Saturday’s non-cap international against the Barbarians.
The Harlequins scrum-half has been included in England’s squad for the match at Twickenham nearly four years after making the last of his 84 Test appearances.
Care was a key figure in Harlequins’ march to the Premiership title last season and has been one of the form players in the English top-flight for several years.
He will be 36 by the time of next year’s World Cup in France but England forwards coach Richard Cockerill believes he could force his way back into Jones’ plans.
“If Danny’s playing well enough and he’s playing better than anybody else, whether they’re young or old, then he’ll come into contention,” Cockerill said Wednesday.
“World Cups are about having that balance — having enough caps of experience to be able to control and manage the pressure, but also having those young guys who are so hungry.”
Care’s England career appeared to be over after he was dropped by Jones following a 35-15 win over Japan in November 2018.
But he has been a pivotal player in Harlequins’ revival, forming an effective half-back partnership with Marcus Smith, who has forced his way into the England set-up under Jones at No 10.
“He’s very experienced,” said Cockerill of Care. “He’s worked with Eddie before, he’s worked with a lot of the guys who are in the squad now before.
“He’s a bright man, he picks things up very quickly and is clearly a very instinctive player. He’s dropped in very easily and has trained very well and been very good with the group.”
Care will also hope to be in England’s squad for their three-match tour of Australia in July.