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O'Shea gives backing to Care

Quins boss vows to support out of favour scrum-half

Last Updated: 24/03/12 7:18pm

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Conor O'Shea: questioned Fa'asavalu's yellow card

Conor O'Shea: questioned Fa'asavalu's yellow card

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Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea pledged his support for Danny Care after the troubled player helped his side to a 14-6 victory over Bath on Saturday.

The out-of-favour England scrum-half has been questioned and bailed by West Yorkshire police over an alleged sexual assault on a woman in Leeds earlier this month.

Care, who was previously dropped from the England squad following a drink driving conviction, denies the allegation but has accepted a police caution for being drunk and disorderly that night.

"Danny's made his mistakes, they are well documented. He's learning from his mistakes. What he has to understand is that he will be an easy target and we are absolutely supporting him in this case."
Connor O'Shea Quotes of the week

"I was never going to leave him out," said O'Shea. "Danny's made his mistakes, they are well documented. He's learning from his mistakes.

"What he has to understand is that he will be an easy target and we are absolutely supporting him in this case."

"There's plenty of stuff we've put around Danny that he's working on, both from technical scrum-half play to lifestyle. We are absolutely behind him."

Dangerous

O'Shea also defended flanker Maurie Fa'asavalu after he was sin-binned for an illegal challenge on the Bath fly-half Tom Heathcote.

The former St Helens rugby league star was shown the yellow card when he charged into the teenager without using his arms in the tackle.

"My immediate thoughts are to have a long, hard look at it. O'Shea said. "I haven't seen it in slow motion but he comes in to make a dominant hit.

"He does try to get his arms out and around but Tom Heathcote is falling. The referee saw what happened and deemed it a yellow card.

"People who know Mo, both from St Helens days and from here, know he's not a loose cannon going round the pitch. He's an incredibly physical bloke but he's not a dangerous player."

But Bath rugby director Sir Ian McGeechan revealed that Heathcote had suffered a whiplash injury in the incident and urged officials to examine the TV footage.

Critical

"I hope the citing officer is looking after it," he said. "He (Heathcote) is 20. We've got to look after these boys."

McGeechan was also unhappy with the yellow card shown to Bath's replacement full-back Jack Cuthbert, who was judged to have challenged Quins full-back Mike Brown in the air as he collected a high kick.

He added: "A couple of decisions were against us. His feet were on the ground but the referee's got to make an instant decision.

"The critical ones like that cost us, Quins scored the points when Jack went off so it wasn't the best timing in trying to keep the momentum in our game.

"Quins are a good side - that's why they are top of the league - but I thought we looked a good side today."

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