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Why retired David Flatman still can't look Danny Care in the eyes

By Liam Heagney
David Flatman /Getty

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A little-versus-large incident in the 29th minute of Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership match between Harlequins and Exeter in London reminded David Flatman of the horrible reason why he allegedly hasn’t liked Danny Care since being on the receiving end of a similar experience during his playing days with Bath. Flatman, the eight-cap former England prop, has gone on to forge a post-playing career in the media that includes writing a column for the RugbyPass+ premium service.

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However, the now 41-year-old was reminded of a depressing moment from his playing days with Bath while doing punditry for BT Sport on their coverage of this weekend’s match at The Stoop, which was a rematch between the teams that had contested the 2021 Premiership final at nearby Twickenham last June.  

It was during a stoppage in play when Harlequins were defending a 7-0 first-half advantage that Flatman was heard recounting his wounding long-ago clash with Care, who continues to be the current day scrum-half for the Londoners

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Marcus Smith, Care’s half-back partner, only tips the scales at 82kgs but he showed power and great technique to shunt 135kg tighthead prop Josh Iosefa-Scott back at a counter-ruck despite being 53kgs lighter (if the weights on the respective club website profiles are up to date).  

Watching on aghast as the action was replayed, Flatman jokingly quipped: “No, no, no. You don’t want that.

“One of the smallest blokes on the field, if not the smallest, picking up the heaviest and counter rucking him. We have all been there. It’s not good. Danny Care did it to me once. I still can’t look him in the eyes. I never liked the guy after that. I didn’t know he was coming, I couldn’t see him.”

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Flatman was in and around the 120kgs mark during his lengthy career compared to Care, who currently checks in at 36kgs lighter at just 84kgs.

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