sport

Care confident for Scotland

Danny Care believes England played some of their best rugby in recent years in the defeat to France and says they will head to Scotland with their confidence intact.

England were undone by a superb 77th-minute try from Gael Fickou in Paris as they were edged out to a 26-24 loss despite having been the better side for the majority of the match.

It means the game at Murrayfield on Saturday is now one England cannot afford to lose if they are to mount a challenge for the Six Nations championship.

And Care, who was England's most dangerous player against France, feels they can head into their second match of the competition with plenty of confidence.

"If we hadn't played well, the performance had been poor and we'd lost the game we'd be really annoyed. But our performance at times was outstanding," Care said.

"We played some of the best rugby we've played over the past couple of years. If we can do that a bit more consistently and be a bit more clinical and ruthless I think we will win a lot of games.

"We don't have a soft underbelly, we're a strong team. The forwards especially put their bodies on the line for 80 minutes. That's all we can ask.

Should have won

"If we play like that next week hopefully we'll get the right result. We'll learn a lot from this. It's a really tough place to come and play and to be so close is frustrating. We should have won.

"It's a long tournament. We know we've got to win every game now to win the title. That's what we're going to try to do.

"The character of the team is one of the best I've ever known. There's no doubting the heart of everyone and that everyone's going to put their bodies on the line."

Care made his first Test start for England since last season's Six Nations and did not disappoint with a high-quality performance that injected pace into England's attacking game.

Equally pleasing was Care's partnership with fly-half Owen Farrell, whose own attacking game took a step forward at the Stade de France.

"I really wanted to go out there and play well. It's just great to be back in the England nine shirt. Hopefully I can get a few more games," Care said.

"I loved it. Any time you put on an England shirt it's a massive honour and I absolutely loved every minute of it - at least until Fickou's try. But that's sport.

"You never want to go off, but that's the coach's decision."