Danny Care reveals the best gifts the England squad got each other

Danny Care has revealed the best presents that members of England’s Rugby World Cup squad bought for each other, including a personalised gift from fly-half, Marcus Smith.

The England scrum-half is back in a World Cup squad for the first time since 2015 having missed out on selection for Japan four years ago.

As Steve Borthwick’s side settle down at their training base in northern France, efforts have been made to boost morale, with a newly formed tradition seeing each player get a small gift for the remaining 32 members of the squad.

“It was a thing Ben Youngs brought in in the 2019 [Rugby World Cup], he thought it would be great for squad morale,” Care explained on BBC’s Rugby Union Daily podcast. “Go through your contacts or be generous and buy a gift for everyone as a well done for making the squad.

“I did put some big pressure on the big dogs this year – Owen Farrel, Mauro Itoje, Marcus Smith – the guys earning all the sponsorship deals. We had to get some heat on them to deliver but boy did some of them deliver.”

Whilst Care opted for golf balls with the England rose on, he conceded he was rather outdone by his Harlequins team-mate Smith.

“Smith came in with 60 degrees Mizuno wedges, personalised with your initials and the England rose on it. I think that had to be the best,” he said.

Other gifts included massage goggles from Itoje and gin from Manu Tuilagi, who owns a distillery alongside his seven brothers. One gift that failed to live up to the billing, though, was that of Youngs who first brought in the idea.

“Youngs brought 32 travel adaptors, which was practical, but you may have expected more from England’s most-capped men’s player of all time,” Care said.

For the 36-year-old, the tournament offers perhaps one final chance at World Cup redemption. Despite having 90 caps for his country, the veteran has played just one game in a World Cup - a dead rubber in 2015 against Uruguay.

"I was going to come out here and be doing the interviews and know I’m the one answering the questions. It was a bit of a pinch-me moment when we landed in Le Touqet,” he recalled.

“I always dreamed that it wasn’t over but to actually be out, to go to the opening ceremony and get your cap, it all feels very real now.”

England get their World Cup underway on Saturday with a tricky test against Argentina.