England star Danny Care had an outstanding Six Nations, here he catches up with RW at the Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens to pick five players who would grace any team
After a Six Nations tournament full of positives with England, RW caught up with Harlequins scrum-half Danny Care at the Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens to discuss five of the best players he had ever played with, or against.
“Nick has turned around the way we’ve played at Harlequins. We now play what we see and that’s him all over. He’s incredibly skilful and can read the game so well but whatever position you put him in, he remains calm and almost always picks the right option. He’s a very intelligent player and in my opinion, is one of the best overseas players the Premiership has ever seen. One play sums him up. Against Stade Francais in the Heineken Cup we had to win we trucked up the middle for about 30 phases to drop goal. After I threw him a terrible pass, he stepped three or four players, then it was recycled and he made another break but held off. On the third occasion he knocked over a truly horrible drop-kick and that’s why they pay him the big bucks.”
“I’ve played against Ma’a quite a few times. Firstly, he’s such a handful to rein in. Just look at him, he 17 odd-stone and unbelievably powerful but he’s so much more than just a crash ball merchant. He really worked on his offloading game and he reads the ball well. He’s a real specimen and will happily run over you all day but off the pitch, he’s really nice guy, the first to shake your hand and buy you a beer. He’s a great lad. I’d love to be his size for a couple of games, it would be a lot of fun.”
“What can I say? There’s no doubt he was one of the world’s best players so to play with him was a privilege. I was quite young when I was in the England set-up with him and as you’d expect, he’s a really decent guy, a real gent. He’s so good with the players coming through, helping them settle into the squad. He’s done everything and won everything, Heineken Cup, World Cup, you name it. Even now he’s still one of the best around, yet he’s still so humble and hard-working. I can’t give him enough praise. He’s not only idolized in England but by players all over the world and that shows what a special player he is.”
“Brian is probably the most talented player I’ve ever played against. He is a game winner, pure and simple. If you watch him play, he has touches of class no other players have. Like all great players, he reads the game well and if you watch him in midfield, his appreciation of space and ability to manipulate the defenders to create chances is so impressive. He also has an effective kicking game with little grubbers behind the defence and all the flicks and wrapround passes. I remember the one that set Simon Zebo up for a try against Wales was just magic. What a wonderful career he’s had.”
“Justin was a massive role model and hero of mine growing up watching him play for New Zealand so I was chuffed to work with him for a short while at Leeds before moving down south. I learnt so much just watching him in training, the way he created space for other players, how he got across defenders. He saw gaps just by looking at people’s eyes, to see if they were not covering him. He was also very vocal, a great controller of the game and loved to attack. Like all good scrum-halves, he backed himself and liked the ball in hand so he could make things happen.”
Danny Care was speaking on behalf of HSBC at the Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens. For more information visit www.rpns7.co.uk