New Zealand v England: Danny Care ruled out of first Test
New Zealand v England: Danny Care is replaced by Ben Youngs after being ruled out of the first Test at Eden Park
Danny Care has been ruled out of the first Test of their tour of New Zealand on Saturday at Eden Park with a shoulder injury.
The England scrum-half jarred his shoulder in training on Monday, but was included in the starting line-up 24 hours before failing a fitness test on Friday morning local time.
He’s just played in a final, he’s won it and is absolutely buzzing
Leicester Tigers’ Ben Youngs is the beneficiary of Harlequins maverick’s demise, being promoted off the bench to partner his future club team-mate Freddie Burns.
Northampton Saints’ Lee Dickson is included on the bench despite playing in the Aviva Premiership final last Saturday and only arriving in Auckland on Wednesday, but Lancaster insists he will be ready to play should be called upon.
“Lee’s excited,” Lancaster said. “He’s just played in a final, he’s won it and is absolutely buzzing.
“He started adjusting his time and sleep patterns from England to make sure he’s adjusted. He’ll be ready, no problem.”
As the most experienced member of England’s backline and one of England’s attacking sparks during the Six Nations, Care’s absence will be a big blow for Lancaster’s side against and experienced All Blacks outfit, but the head coach believes Youngs is hitting form at the right time.
“If you go back to the game in 2012 when he started against New Zealand, that was him at his best and he’s approaching that form,” said Lancaster ahead of Care’s fitness test.
“To go into a Test against the All Blacks with anyone who is not 100 per cent physically would be a poor decision.”
Care has not been ruled out of the three-Test tour and could be in contention for a return to action for the second Test in Dunedin on Saturday 14 June.
Revised England team: Mike Brown (Harlequins); Marland Yarde (London Irish), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby), Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby); Freddie Burns (Gloucester), Ben Youngs (Leicester); Joe Marler (Harlequins), Rob Webber (Bath), Dave Wilson (Bath), Joe Launchbury (London Wasps), Geoff Parling (Leicester), James Haskell (Wasps), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, captain), Ben Morgan (Gloucester).
Replacements: Joe Gray (Harlequins), Matt Mullan (Wasps), Henry Thomas (Sale Sharks), Dave Attwood (Bath), Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs); Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints), Danny Cipriani (Sale), Chris Pennell (Worcester Warriors).