#WearTheRose with Danny Care

The 28-year-old England and Harlequins scrum-half has been a stalwart for club and country, but can he face down a horse-sized duck? We found out…

 

What have you been up to?

Bit of training, we had a double session today so this morning we had weights, and then the forwards did a few lineouts, and the backs watched some videos. We do quite a bit of learning off field.

Are you a good trainer?

Yeah I love training, some lads say they don’t like it, but I love going to training every day, it’s not a bad job to run out and play rugby for a living.

What’s the best thing about being a pro?

The feeling in the dressing room after a big win, it’s incredible, just such special memories. Whether it’s playing for your school, club or playing for England, going into dressing room after victory is always amazing.

What are the toughest parts of training?

Pretty much everything we do is tough, but getting beasted in pre-season is something we’ve come to expect. In the last pre-season, everything has gone up a few notches though, it’s the hardest I’ve ever been involved with, incredibly intense. We do a lot of running, a lot of rugby; we get tested physically and mentally, just to ensure that we can perform to our best even when we’re knackered.  The hardest thing we do is ten minutes of rugby, then ten of mass running – shuttle running, all specific to position –  then back to rugby, then back to running and we do that eight to ten times. After the first couple of reps you think ‘this is alright, but then you reach eight or nine…”

Who’s the fittest?

In fitness sessions it’s always one of the little lads, one of the backs. Chris Ashton is up there every time – that kid can run all day. Alex Goode is very fit too, he just seems to run and run. Every session, I’d say those two are up there, with a few of us trying to chase them down.

Enough of the training talk, what animal would you like to be?

I would be a monkey, they just seem to have pretty cool life swinging around trees, being cheeky, eating bananas.

And if you had a to choose an animal sidekick?

I’d bowl around with a lion because I know I’d always be safe. I could get in loads of trouble, but there’s not much they can do when you’ve got a lion on your side.

One album on repeat forever?

One Direction, greatest hits.  YI can name a fair few of their songs actually; Story of My Life, What Makes you Beautiful… In fact, now that Zayn has left there’s an opportunity, so I’d quite like to keep my options open…

Forwards or backs?

I had being a back pretty much thrust upon me when I was created, not very big. But, that said, being a back, I do feel for the forwards. I can’t believe the stuff they’ve got to do, so I’ve got much respect. Being nine also means I make them run through brick walls to create quick ball for, I almost feel sorry for them, but they do enjoy it. Some lads do get off on the physical side but I prefer to run around people than through them.

Who’s the toughest player you’ve faced?

Toughest in terms of physicality? Well any time play you play a Test match against South Africa you know they’re going to be very physical, very aggressive – they’re very good at what they do.

But closer to home, it’d probably have to be Billy Vunipola, I’m not massive fan of playing against him. Even as a 21- or 22-year-old kid he’s enormous, he dwarves people. When we get into camp I stay away from him in training. I think when you’re in the defence line, he literally looks up to see who he’s running at and when they see a scrum half his face lights up, and with a big smile he’ll run over the top of you. That said, it is something you get used to, you just try and get your own back when you can, by running at them and using your footwork.

Would you rather face 100 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized ducks?

I’ll go for one horse-sized duck, I’m not sure ducks are the quickest so I could blindside him.

What are you fanatical about?

I’d say my family. I’ve got ten-month old boy, and myself and my fiancée Jody are crazy about him, he’s also getting to that age when he’s nearly starting to walk, so he’s causing carnage at home.

Any other sport?

I love football, Liverpool are my team, not much to cheer about at the moment though. And when the missus lets me, I play golf.

If you could have one sporting moment beyond rugby?

I think scoring a goal in a Champions League or FA Cup final would be unbelievable. Or being Usain Bolt and being the fastest man in the world. Although football was my main love when I was little, I chose football over rugby when I was 11, and went to Sheffield Wednesday for three years. But then I started playing rugby at school, went to play for Otley at under-16s and we had a lads and dads tour to Dublin and it was such a good trip, I chose rugby and never looked back.

Final meal?

Fish and chips. I’d go back home to Leeds, they’re not as good down here, and have fish and chips from Harry Ramsden’s. Maybe with some curry sauce and a battered sausage, too.