Rugby Union

Danny Care, pictured, is dueling with Ben Youngs to start at scrum-half for England.

Danny Care ready to accept regular rotation with Ben Youngs under Eddie Jones

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Danny Care accepts there may never be a clear winner in his battle with Ben Youngs to be England's favoured scrum-half under Eddie Jones.

Care and Youngs are Jones' preferred options in the position but appear to face four years of swapping roles after Jones outlined his policy of selecting on the basis of the gameplan used.

It was Youngs who started Sunday's 40-9 RBS 6 Nations victory in Rome, assisting in the task of battling Italy to a standstill before the more dynamic Care arrived for the final half hour to help expose the fatiguing Azzurri.

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The order was different against Scotland and could change once more when Ireland visit Twickenham on February 27 in the first of three title showdowns that will continues with clashes against Wales and France.

"I'm not obsessed with who starts and who finishes. It's whatever suits our gameplan that decides which one starts and which one finishes," said Jones.

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"In baseball if you're a good finisher you get paid a lot of money. In rugby it's seen as a second choice, but in our eyes it's not a second choice."

Care, who spent the latter days of Stuart Lancaster's reign as third choice, insists a place in the starting XV is the main aim but is content to act as a second-half reinforcement.

"If that's the way Eddie does it then we have to come to terms with that. It's his decision," Care said.

"Eddie said to me after the Scotland game that he thought I played really well. I would like to have started again but he said this week he wanted to change it up a little bit. I completely respected his decision.

"My mindset was I was disappointed not to be in the starting line-up but I knew I had a big role to play coming off the bench and providing some energy. That was my aim and hopefully it went quite well.

"Everyone wants to be in that starting line-up, you want to be out there having the first crack at it, but it's a squad effort. Whoever is on the bench is still a very good player.

"The lads who start the game do the real hard stuff and whoever comes off the bench gets to finish it off.

"I got half an hour against Italy which I was happy with. I'm happy with how I played, but there's still things to work on.

Italy v England - RBS Six Nations

"Anyone in the squad has got the right to go out and show what they can do. Hopefully I did that a bit against Italy.

"We talked about going really hard at the first 20 minutes, controlling the middle period then killing them off in the last 20. We did that and I enjoyed that role."

The highlight of Care's performance was the feint to pass and grubber kick on to the whitewash to set-up the second of Jonathan Joseph's hat-trick of tries.

"It was a little nudge through. It's one of those - you hope it pops up and luckily it did," Care said.

"I saw a bit of space. I know Jonathan's pretty quick and if I put it in his channel he's going to get there. It's nice when they come off."

England will face an Ireland team smarting from their 10-9 loss to France in Paris and Care knows the reigning champions are dangerous opponents.

"It's massive. The games just get harder and harder. We've had some good success against Ireland recently," Care said.

"We know they'll come out firing. Obviously they'll be disappointed with their loss but they'll come to Twickenham thinking they'll get the win."

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Topics:
England Rugby
Danny Cipriani
Rugby Union
Ireland Rugby
Jonny Wilkinson
Six Nations

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