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Care eyes an England recall

DANNY CARE says he is desperate to reclaim the scrum-half berth for the Six Nations opener with Wales at Twickenham on Saturday.

The Harlequins lost the No9 shirt to Paul Hodgson in the autumn series after a disappointing performance against Australia.

But Care has shone for the Quins in recent weeks and believes he merits a place in Martin Johnson’s starting XV, which is named at lunchtime today.

“I started one game in the autumn and was on the bench for two, which was pretty frustrating,” said the 23-year-old.

“Every time you go to an England game you want to be starting. You want to be up there singing the national anthem and then start playing straight away.

“I’m happy with my form at the moment. Results haven’t been going for us [at Harlequins] recently but I’m happy with how I’m playing and if I’m selected I can carry that into the Six Nations. You have to play well every game and perform week in week out to get in the squad because whoever’s playing the best should play and hopefully that will be me.”

Johnson’s attacking options have been increased with the return of injured trio Riki Flutey, Delon Armitage and Toby Flood, while ex-Kiwi rugby league star Shontayne Hape is also named in the squad.

“There are some fantastic players in the squad,” Care added. “You have to be given time to gel together as a team and when we do click we will be up there with the best in the world.”