Danny Care hopes some of the magic of Jamie Vardy’s season at Leicester rubs off on England in Saturday’s Grand Slam match against France.
Care and Vardy spent their early teenage years playing at Sheffield Wednesday’s academy until the former opted for rugby, and the long-standing friends remain in touch.
Against all odds Leicester are in pole position to win the Barclays Premier League with Vardy’s 19 goals laying the foundation for their title bid, while in Paris Care’s England will attempt to complete their first Grand Slam since 2003.
“Every now and then we have a little chat. It’s pretty amazing his story, how he’s getting on. It’s good for him. Hopefully we can celebrate something of our own,” Care said. “He was my understudy at Wednesday! No, he was a similar player to what he is now. Very feisty, wanted the ball at his feet, very quick, liked to score goals.
“I’d like to say I taught him everything he knows but no, I definitely didn’t. He’s played unbelievably and he’s deserving everything. We were both similar - wingers or up front. Little fast kids.”
Care, who has been restored to England’s starting XV for the trip to Paris, hopes 2016 will be a memorable year for the two Wednesday graduates.
“It would be nice. Obviously Leicester are flying. It’s an unbelievable story. They deserve everything they’re getting at the moment,” Care said.
“You look at Leicester’s team and the way football is - the money, the big four clubs - and Leicester have just come and blown them away.
“It shows that a bit of team spirit and a couple of fantastic players in and around some very good squad players can get you the rewards. You look at other sports for inspiration and it would be amazing if Leicester can do it. Hopefully they will get it done. For us to win a Grand Slam would obviously be massive
“No-one has done it in this squad and it hasn’t been done by England for a long time. A handful of us have won a Six Nations, but this is the one we really want. And we’re going to Paris to try and get it.”