England Rugby
Lancaster 'positive' over Care
ESPNscrum Staff
May 2, 2012
Harlequins scrum-half Danny Care rounds off a try, Saracens v Harlequins, Aviva Premiership, Wembley Stadium, London, England, March 31, 2012
Danny Care may be back for England this summer © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Danny Care | Danny Cipriani | James Haskell
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England coach Stuart Lancaster has met with Danny Care and will monitor the progress of the Harlequins scrum-half ahead of the summer tour of South Africa.

Care, 25, missed this season's Six Nations Championship following a series of off-field controversies. One matter remains the subject of police inquiries but Lancaster is prepared to offer him another opportunity, form permitting.

"Danny Care is someone I have met recently and I am pleased with what he is doing off the field in terms of working hard to force himself back into contention," said Lancaster. "I had a positive meeting with him and he is one I will consider for the tour."

England play three Tests against South Africa in June during a five-match trip. Lancaster, who confirmed on Monday the temporary appointment of Mike Catt to his coaching staff, has said he intends to pick a squad of 42 players.

His initial selection will be named next week but changes could be made as a result of injuries with some club fixtures still outstanding. Fly-half Danny Cipriani, who will join Sale Sharks next season, is unlikely to force his way into the reckoning following his early release by Melbourne Rebels.

"Danny Cipriani is another one but I think the next step for him is to go to Sale, do the pre-season," Lancaster said. "He is in a competitive position. Hopefully he will earn the right to get back in there next season."

Flanker James Haskell, who will next season rejoin Wasps from Super Rugby side Highlanders, is in Lancaster's thoughts although he has just been hit with a three-week ban for punching.

"James Haskell will be coming back into equation," Lancaster said. "I have spoken to him about his availability. James has a three-week ban - his next game would be May 26, then he will play a Super 15 on June 2 and then join us, if selected."

Another in-form but overseas-based option is Toulon flanker Steffon Armitage. Lancaster said: "We have this situation where, in exceptional circumstances, we have the opportunity to bring players back. Steffon is an example of that. He is clearly playing well, although we do have other players in his position playing well too. He is not out of the equation and he is one we will consider."

Lancaster is already without a number of players through injury and confirmed that Leicester flanker Tom Croft is the latest casualty. Croft was carried off on a stretcher in a neck brace during his side's victory over Harlequins on April 21.

Other missing injured players include Rob Webber, Courtney Lawes, Tom Woods, Tom Croft, Joe Simpson and Charlie Sharples. Northampton forward Calum Clark is suspended.

Leicester centre Anthony Allen, London Irish prop Alex Corbisiero and Harlequins winger Ugo Monye are also currently sidelined but Lancaster hopes they could be fit to tour.

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