Danny Care is doing his best to deliver the next generation of England scrum-halves with Blake, his three year old son, already announcing he is ready to follow in his father’s boot prints.
Care, England’s most capped scrum-half, is set to make his 79th Test appearance on Saturday and will have a key role to play in the Calcutta Cup clash against Greig Laidlaw, the equally influential Scotland No. 9.
With Ben Youngs, his perennial opponent for the England starting place injured and out for four months, Care is getting used to starting matches for his country, making all the sacrifices to keep his sporting dream alive worthwhile.
The Harlequins star is acutely aware of the time he is spending away from his young family and while the short-term goal is to help England win an historic third successive Six Nations title, the ultimate target is to be part of the team that lifts the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Care said: “He [Blake] is at an age when he doesn’t really get it and knows I am away a fair bit. I want all these times I am away from the family to be worthwhile and that means, hopefully, winning the Six Nations again and the ultimate goal is that his Dad lifts the World Cup one day.”
Blake, who will be four in October, already has the England and Harlequins kits although the time needed to devote to the sport is still an irritation for the young lad as Care admitted: “Every time I leave the house he says ‘not rugby again!’
“I always tell him that I will see him at the weekend and he can come and watch the match. He loves attending the games and has already told me he wants to be a rugby player like his Dad when he is older.
“He is understanding it all a bit more and knows I play for two teams; Harlequins and England. He has both kits and knows all the chants and songs and I would like to keep going for a few more years so that he fully understands.”
Former Wimbledon champion Andy Murray wants to keep playing until his daughters are able to watch him in action so that his career is not just limited to highlight reels he can show them later in life.
Care understands Murray’s sentiments and that is why he is revelling in the opportunities that are on offer to a player who was dumped by Sheffield Wednesday because he was considered too small for professional football.
Jamie Vardy, the Leicester and England forward, was in the same academy and the pair have taken very different paths to the international stage.
Care added: “When I was with Jamie [Vardy] in the Sheffield Wednesday academy I would have laughed if you had said that one day I would be the most capped England rugby scrum-half.
“It is pretty cool to see our two different stories with Jamie going all the way down the leagues and then all the way back up to the very top. I went to a totally different sport and we have both ended up wearing the England No. 9 shirt. It is great.”