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Dan Cole got green light from wife to continue England career after World Cup

The 36-year-old will look to help England continue their Six Nations challenge against Scotland

Duncan Bech
Saturday 17 February 2024 22:00 GMT
Dan Cole considered his Test future after the World Cup (Mike Egerton/PA)
Dan Cole considered his Test future after the World Cup (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Wire)

Dan Cole was given the green light to continue his England career by wife Isobel having decided he did not want to join the contingent of players retiring after the World Cup.

Cole took stock of his Test future after helping England finish third at last autumn’s global showpiece knowing that Courtney Lawes, Jonny May and Ben Youngs had already played their final international games.

The 36-year-old prop has re-established himself in the front row under Steve Borthwick after spending three years in Red Rose exile and is eager to make the most of his time at the top.

“My wife is very understanding that I haven’t got many games left. It was a joint decision,” Cole said.

“She understands that with Steve and the coaches that she knows from Leicester, it is a very good team environment and place to be. I won’t be doing it forever, so enjoy it.”

When asked if the current Six Nations would be his last campaign with England, Cole replied: “I haven’t made up my mind. I haven’t thought about it so far, we’ll see how it goes.

“After the World Cup I thought about everything really. I had a conversation with Steve and he said to me after Courtney had announced his retirement at a press conference ‘are you planning any press conferences or announcements?’.

“I said that ‘I’ve got to speak to my wife and to you Steve because if you’re not going to pick me then I will’. He said that I’d like you to have the option (to play on). I was like fair enough because I owe Steve a lot. And here I am!

“It’s one of those things where you never want to give up, but at the same time you can understand why boys with families do because international rugby is a tough environment to be in. It’s intense.”

Cole will be involved in next Saturday’s visit to Murrayfield where England will be aiming to register a third win of this year’s Six Nations, keeping them on course for the Grand Slam.

The Leicester tighthead’s scrummaging expertise has led to his Test resurgence and he believes the set-piece is more vital than it has ever been.

“Tournament by tournament in international rugby, there are less scrums but they are of higher importance, which is why teams don’t want to give an inch there,” Cole said.

“You have seen in the first couple of weeks of the Six Nations they can sometimes be a bit messy and slow.

“I know the reaction to that over the first couple of weeks of the Six Nations hasn’t been great, but obviously it can be a massive turning point in the game.

“It’s tough because it’s so important and every scrum is heightened. You are playing international rugby and so you are not going to be playing against any mugs, everyone knows what they’re doing and everyone is good.”

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