England scrum-half Danny Care will miss their Six Nations campaign following a decision from the RFU to not include him in their elite player squad after his arrest for drink-driving.
The 25-year-old was stopped by police in the early hours of Monday morning and was found to be over twice the legal limit. It’s Care’s second drink-related incident in under a month after he was also arrested for being drunk and disorderly back in December.
Care missed England’s disastrous World Cup due to a toe injury but has been in good form for the Quins and looked almost certain to be named in the England squad for the Six Nations.
It’s a big blow for England who are looking to bounce back from the New Zealand debacle by retaining their Six Nations crown.
England are currently behind France (13/8) in the betting and are joint second favourites along with Wales at 11/4.
The decision points to a much tougher stance from the RFU on players’ behaviour which should ultimately benefit the country.
Clive Woodward’s World Cup winning side in 2003 was built on a foundation of discipline and immaculate preparation and a return to those standards is a must if England are to be the force they once were.
It may be disappointing for England’s Six Nations hopes as they will undoubtedly miss the guile of the No.9 but, while the personnel at the RFU remains much the same, the attitudes to players’ off-field conduct is clearly changing – and that may ultimately be a good thing.