Cared-for Care aiming to repay friends in the final

Scrum-half, who can dictate Saturday's Premiership final, admits he lost his way but was helped back on track by Quins team-mates

If Danny Care gives as much to Harlequins at Twickenham on Saturday as his colleagues have given him over the last few troubled weeks and months, the Londoners' chances of securing a first Premiership title will be very good indeed. Back in favour with England after a series of drink-related brushes with the long arm of the law, the form scrum-half in the country feels he now owes something to the people who put their own arms around him and turned him towards the straight and narrow.

"I'm delighted to have been selected in the England squad for South Africa," he said yesterday, referring to the forthcoming Test series with the Springboks. "But the first thing I have to think about is this weekend's final with Leicester, which will be the biggest club game of my life. It's been a tough year, but the Quins players have given me the best support anyone could have had. Chris Robshaw [his captain] put an arm round me; Jordan Turner-Hall and Rory Clegg [his housemates] have kept me amused. I needed my mates to look after me and, at the same time, to sort me out. They've been amazing."

Care was arrested on three occasions either side of Christmas and found himself jettisoned from England's squad for the Six Nations by the new head coach, Stuart Lancaster – one of the men most responsible for propelling him towards Test status in the first place. An allegation of sexual assault, which the player denies, is still under investigation. Yet his performances at club level have been remarkably consistent, and with no developments in the outstanding case anticipated before the middle of summer at the earliest, Lancaster has decided that this is the right time to rehabilitate him.

"My main focus has shifted back to what I do best," Care continued following a bright and breezy training session at the Quins base in Guildford. "I think I lost sight of what I was as a professional rugby player – took my eye off the ball, if you like. Being injured before last year's World Cup and not going to the tournament hit me harder than I thought at the time and there were things in my personal life that took over. A lot was said, some of it not very nice, but I've grown up a lot. Being thrown out of an England squad is the worst thing that can happen to a player."

Nigel Redman, the former Bath and England lock who has been coaching the national Under-20 team, is leaving the Rugby Football Union to succeed Phil Davies as the forwards specialist at Worcester, thereby linking up with his old clubmate Richard Hill, the boss at Sixways.

Across the Irish Sea, the excellent Munster back-row forward Denis Leamy has been forced into premature retirement at 30 by a persistent hip injury. "I've had a great career and I wish it could have gone on a little longer," said Leamy, who won 57 caps for his country.

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Life and Style
life
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
News
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
news
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn