RugbyU: O'Shea hails 'world-class' Care as Quins tame Tigers

Harlequins boss Conor O'Shea praised the performance of Danny Care after the scrum-half's fine solo try in a 25-21 win over Leicester returned the champions to the top of the English Premiership.

Care has found himself playing second fiddle to Leicester's Ben Youngs recently while on England duty.

And the fact Care, and several other players, were released from England's training camp for this match by national head coach Stuart Lancaster suggest they are not in line to start when the as yet unbeaten Six Nations leaders face France at Twickenham next weekend.

But after watching Care's display in a clash of Premiership giants where Kiwi fly-half Ben Botica, the son of former dual code international Frano, kicked 20 points for Quins and Tony Flood, displaced as England's starting stand off by Owen Farrell, scored 16 for Leicester, O'Shea was in no doubt of his quality.

"The right reaction was to come back and perform for your club," said O'Shea.

"That was world-class out there tonight. You're fortunate to be able to watch those types of moments.

"From Stuart Lancaster's point of view, he must be thinking, 'I've got Ben Youngs and Danny Care -- how lucky am I?'

"From my point of view, we love having him back. He got stuck in and got physical; looking at the team we were physical we were magnificent.

"I'm always going to back my own player. Danny's outstanding. From Stuart Lancaster's point of view there are two (British and Irish) Lions-standard scrum-halves competing (for the England No 9 shirt).

"I think England is lucky to be in a position like that. You look underneath Danny Care and Ben Youngs, with Joe Simpson coming through -- we're blessed.

"They are only 24 or 25 -- that is the heartbeat of the side for a long time. Danny will get a chance hopefully soon with England, I'm sure."

Meanwhile Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill was left bemoaning the performance of Test referee Wayne Barnes.

The English official, who became something of a hate figure in New Zealand after allegedly allowing a France forward pass to go unpunished during the All Blacks' shock 2007 World Cup quarter-final defeat in Cardiff, found himself under fire from former Test hooker Cockerill for his handling of the breakdown.

"I thought it was a half-decent game of rugby and it was tight, but today they take the win and we take a (bonus) point," Cockerill said after Leicester's loss at Quins' Stoop ground.

"The discipline was disappointing in the game for us. Some of that was ourselves and some was down to the officiating.

"Yet again the officials take centre stage when we needed the referee to be a bit better...Yet again it's the interpretation of the breakdown and us getting penalised and Harlequins not.

"I don't mind getting penalised, but only if both teams are getting penalised for the same things."