Danny Care to fight for England spot after omission from South Africa tour
England scrum-half Danny Care says being left out of the tour of South Africa could give him a "kick up the backside" before next year's World Cup.
Care has played in all of head coach Eddie Jones' 28 Test matches in charge.
But Jones has opted to omit the Harlequins scrum-half for the three-Test series against the Springboks.
"Maybe it's the best thing for me at this stage of my career to get a bit of a kick up the backside," Care told the Rugby Union Weekly podcast.
"[Then I can] come back to Quins, work really hard, and prove why I should be in that England shirt.
"I've still got a few years left and I still think my best rugby is yet to come"
Care was one of a handful of senior players "rested" for the tour, along with flanker James Haskell and prop Dan Cole, although a host of British and Irish Lions have been included.
England boss Jones met with the 31-year-old before naming his touring party.
"He said 'look I'm going to give you a rest this summer, I think it will be the best thing for you'," Care explained.
"He said that in the last few weeks I haven't been as sharp as at the start of the season.
"He's the boss, and if he thinks that I need a rest, then he knows best.
"So I'll take the rest, get away with my family, have a good pre-season with Quins, and come back in firing next season and fighting for my spot."
Care admits to mixed emotions after being left out of a squad for the first time under the current coaching regime.
"It's a weird feeling, because it's the first time I haven't been in an England squad for quite a long time and there's a very good squad going out there," he added.
"It's jealousy really, because you want to be there - I want to play for England as many times as I can. I would love to have gone down there and won 3-0.
"But I'm not going to do that, which is fine. They've picked three other scrum-halves to go, and I wish Dan [Robson] and Ben [Spencer] all the best as they hopefully get their first cap for their country.
"But I'm confident in my own ability, and I would back myself to get back in an England shirt next season."