England and Harlequins scrum-half Danny Care may be a stalwart at the Premiership club, but the story of how ended up with them has to be heard to be believed.
Care began his career with his hometown club Leeds back in in 2003, but departed the club after they were relegated back in 2006 when he was just 20-years-old, thanks to a massive administrative error.
Care recalled the events on BBC’s Rugby Union Weekly podcast this week:
“Five of us were on the same money, first year out of school. £12,000 on my first year out of school [on an academy contract]. It was a really good deal – I was living at home, getting £1,000 into my pocket every month and I had my mum doing all my washing. it was brilliant.
“But we found out that on the back page of our contract – and we only found this out last minute – that there was a relegation release clause. I had never looked at my contract that closely before… but what had happened was [All Blacks scrum-half] Justin Marshall had a relegation release clause in his contract.
“Whoever was doing the admin had mistakenly printed off the same page and put it in five of our academy contracts. Genuine. When we found out we’d been relegated, one of the lads said, ‘Look, there’s a clause in there and you can leave’. I didn’t want to leave because I loved Leeds and I loved playing for my home-town club but 25 of the lads had left already and it was like, ‘What do I do?’
“So I got my agent to speak to a few clubs – Saracens, Northampton and Harlequins. We went on the M1 and met with all three.”