English Rugby
Gomarsall tips Care for England scrum-half berth
ESPN Staff
October 24, 2012
Harlequins' Danny Care salutes the croud, Harlequins v Biarritz, Heineken Cup, Twickenham Stoop, London, England, October 13, 2012
Andy Gomarsall believes Danny Care is in pole position for the England starting spot © PA Photos
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Players/Officials: Danny Care | Andy Gomarsall | Ben Youngs

Former England scrum-half Andy Gomarsall has tipped Danny Care to get the nod over Ben Youngs for the starting half-back berth ahead of the autumn internationals.

Care was named Man of the Match for Harlequins following their 30-22 win over Connacht on Saturday with the scrum-half grabbing two tries. He has shone for the Aviva Premiership champions this season and also crossed the whitewash the weekend before.

But Leicester scrum-half Youngs, who missed the start of the season due to a shoulder injury, was also awarded Man of the Match at the weekend after his try-scoring exploits against the Ospreys on Sunday.

England boss Stuart Lancaster will name his squad for the autumn Tests on Thursday with their first game against Fiji on November 10. And he will face a tough decision over who will start for England with Care and Youngs seemingly the frontrunners.

Former scrum-half Gomarsall, who won 35 caps for England and started in the 2007 World Cup final, believes that Care is likely to start ahead of his Tigers rival.

"It's an intriguing battle," Gomarsall told the Daily Mail. "I rate both of these players very highly. Youngs has played more often for England recently and obviously Care's off-field issues were a major reason for that, but I think he has put those problems behind him now. He seems to have matured a lot.

"As it stands, I think England will go with Care. The main factor is consistency, which he has produced. I think he will join up with England in more confident mood and he is a more naturally exuberant person than Youngs, but both of them have the qualities to be good starters or effective impact players off the bench.

"Youngs has a tendency to "crab" across the field - when he steps across and passes he opens up the chance of a break against a drift defence, but also puts a lot of pressure on his half-back partner. He's got to just pass, pass, pass.

"Both these guys kick well and both are dangerous runners, willing to tap-and-go, with similar pace. Their passing ability is similar too. I just feel that Ben has been a bit muddled in his mind sometimes. He is also the more injury-prone of the two."

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