Gallagher MD of global trade and Harlequins fan Matthew Pike hailed Care the “in-form scrum-half” of the Gallagher Premiership and commended his vital contribution to every “compelling” Quins game, pointing to how Care has “impressed, inspired and entertained by equal turn”.
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Danny Care today made it a Harlequins double as he was named Gallagher Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for March 2021, one month after the accolade was bestowed upon team-mate Marcus Smith.

Care has hit some of the best form of his life, aged 34, as Harlequins have climbed into the Gallagher Premiership semi-final picture, earning accolades from BT Sport pundit and Gallagher ambassador Ugo Monye.

“Danny is in the best form I’ve seen him in for a long time,” says Monye. “I’m talking about his all-round game: his controlling game as a nine, the tempo he brings, his running threat and also his attacking, kicking threat. I think he’s been one of the big reasons why Harlequins have seen this turnaround in fortunes over the last couple of months and it’s good to see that being recognised on an individual level.”

In March Harlequins chalked-up victories over Northampton Saints and Gloucester Rugby and lost by a single point at Sandy Park, to champions, Exeter Chiefs and two points to leaders Bristol Bears, in a 35-33 thriller at Ashton Gate.

Monye added: “Their philosophy of how they want to play rugby has changed and it’s playing to the strengths of some of their key players. Every No.9 on every team is an influential player because they touch the ball more than anyone. Having the framework of the game plan allows the players to express themselves – it’s not just Danny, it is Marcus Smith, Mike Brown, Alex Dombrandt, the whole spine of their team has stepped up.”

Harlequins fan, season ticket holder and Gallagher’s managing director of global trade, Matthew Pike, added his praise for Care’s huge contribution to their recent run of success: “More than 15 years after his debut at Quins and Danny Care is as fresh and fierce as ever – very much the in-form scrum-half of the Gallagher Premiership, wholly deserving of this award and rightly tipped for a Lions call up.

“We may not yet be back in the stands at The Stoop but every Quins game has been a compelling watch, with Danny right at the centre of each powerful performance. Throughout March he impressed, inspired and entertained by equal turn, with great tactical play and tries to boot. Congratulations Danny and hopefully it won’t be too long now until we, as a business, can return to all 12 Gallagher Premiership Rugby clubs to show and voice our support for this great game and gripping competition at a local level.”

Monye believes there are many similarities between the two half-backs at The Twickenham Stoop, notably the last two winners of the Gallagher Player of the Month award. “Danny is in the autumn of his career and Marcus is in the spring of his, but the common thread between the two of them is their drive and their vision of the game, more so than anything. It’s a perfect combination of two great attacking threats with ball in hand and kicking as well. You can see the energy, the symbiotic relationship they have with one another.

“Danny’s ability to take control and manage a game allows Marcus, who is great at controlling a game, to go off and do his thing. Danny’s a big reason why Marcus has played so well, and Marcus works hard and he’s a big reason why Danny is playing so well. In those two key roles, it’s important that they are on the same wavelength and they seem to have been for the last couple of months.”

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Commenting on the broader significance of Care’s recent performance, Monye added: “Maybe I’m biased, I’m happy to be that, but Danny’s playing as well as anyone at the moment. That’s why he’s been voted Gallagher Premiership Player of the Month. It’s not just playing well, it’s the timing of when you’re playing well - when Warren Gatland and his Lions coaches will be having conversations, assessing the form of the players.

“I just want to see more of the same from him. Whether you’re a Quins fan or not, if you enjoy rugby, you probably enjoy the way Danny plays when he’s at his best. The grounds are firm now, the sun is starting to break its way through, and hopefully we’ll have crowds back before the end of the season. With some of the rugby Danny has played, you’d love to have crowds. So let’s have more of the same. “

As part of his prize for being named Gallagher Player of the Month, Care has the opportunity to donate a shirt signed by the whole Harlequins squad and framed by Gallagher to a charity of his choice to help them raise funds for their cause.

Care was judged by a panel of experts as the player who made the biggest impact in Gallagher Premiership Rugby in March 2021. He was involved in a three-way battle to win the award eventually beating Sale Sharks lock Lood de Jager and Bristol Bears centre Piers O’Conor to the title.

Care was voted for by a panel of media professionals based on his performances in February, alongside a public poll on the Premiership Rugby app, which drew more than 1,600 votes. The judges were: Nick Mullins (BT Sport), Alastair Eykyn (BT Sport), Mick Cleary (The Daily Telegraph), Sarah Mockford (Rugby World), Jonny Fordham (The Sun), Jill Douglas (Broadcaster), Craig Swayne (Fab Rugby), Chris Jones (BBC 5 Live), David Rogers (Getty Images) and Tom Hamilton (ESPN). The panel was chaired by Paul Morgan, Premiership Rugby's Communications Director.