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England scrum-half Danny Care a doubt for New Zealand Test

Updated: Thursday, 05 Jun 2014 07:22 | Comments

Danny Care jarred his shoulder in training
Danny Care jarred his shoulder in training

England scrum-half Danny Care's prospects of playing in Saturday's first Test against New Zealand appear increasingly bleak due to a shoulder injury.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster rates Care's chances of recovering in time for the series opener at Eden Park as 50-50, although he will be given more time to prove his fitness.

The 27-year-old, the catalyst behind England's improved attacking game in the most recent RBS 6 Nations, jarred his shoulder after suffering an accidental fall in training.

Lancaster insists that because the tour to New Zealand spans three Tests, no risks will be taken with the Harlequins half-back. Ben Youngs is on standby to start in Care's place.

"Danny is 50-50 I'd say at the moment. We want to make sure we're doing right by him," Lancaster said.

"To go into a Test against the All Blacks with anyone who is not 100 per cent physically and mentally would be a poor decision, so we need to make sure he's 100 per cent right.

"I also have my mind on the fact there's more than one game in this series, so I want to make sure I'm doing right by him.

"I know he's desperate to play because he's been exceptional in the Premiership and for us this season. We have to do the right thing.

"It would be a big blow losing him, but that would be lessened by Ben whose form picked up at the end of the season.

"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 now."

Lee Dickson, who only arrived in New Zealand on Wednesday having helped Northampton win the Aviva Premiership final, is ready to supply cover from the bench.

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