TO MOST people it’s a three-horse race for England’s No.9 shirt at the World Cup with Danny Care streaking clear – but the odds-on favourite can see Gloucester’s Dan Robson creeping up the rails, writes Pippa Field.
Care is certainly in the box seat to star at the World Cup on home soil – the 27-year-old is in the form of his life and provided the spark that ignited England throughout the Six Nations.
Lee Dickson is the next cab off the rank while Ben Youngs is slowly but surely finding his form again for Leicester Tigers – and that’s without mentioning Richard Wigglesworth, who is doing little wrong at Saracens.
At present therefore, Robson would appear to be a rank outsider but Care has been impressed by everything he has seen of the 22-year-old – part of the 2011 England U20s side that reached the final of the Junior World Championship along with Marland Yarde, Christian Wade, Mako Vunipola, Joe Launchbury and Owen Farrell.
Indeed, Care can see glimpses of Farrell in Robson and is convinced the Gloucester man is destined for England caps.
“I’ve played against Dan a couple of times and I think he is a brilliant player,” said Care, HSBC Ambassador for the Rosslyn Park Sevens.
“I think he has got all the potential to make it at the very top and play for England.
“He’s got that instinctive speed and an eye for a gap. He’s also a bit like Owen, he’s very calm for his years and he can boss the team around, which is a good sign.”
While there has been plenty of doom and gloom at Kingsholm this season, among the key positives is that the England management still have faith in their Cherry & Whites.
Billy Twelvetrees and Jonny May started all five of England’s Six Nations matches while Ben Morgan played his part, coming off the bench against France, Scotland and Ireland before starting against Wales and Italy following injury to Billy Vunipola.
And Care believes it’s easy to see why Stuart Lancaster and co have been keeping close tabs on Kingsholm.
“I think Gloucester is such a fantastic club, they’ve got such a fantastic tradition and they’ve produced many a fine international,” added Care.
“I’m not sure what he (Robson) will be doing with his contract but I’m sure he won’t be short of offers.”
England rugby union and former England Sevens player Danny Care was speaking on behalf of HSBC at the Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens where he helped run HSBC coaching clinics for schools during the tournament. For more information visit www.rpns7.co.uk.