Missing only one of England’s 41 Tests that preceded the 2013 summer tour of South America reflects the impact that Dan Cole has made since his debut in the victory over Wales at Twickenham in 2010. A greater triumph followed in the 21-20 defeat of Australia at Sydney that June when he completed a formidable performance despite suffering a cut and badly swollen left eye.
Dan returned to the land of the Wallabies after being chosen for the 2013 British & Irish Lions tour party, played off the bench in all three Tests, sharing in the 23-21 victory at Brisbane and the series-clinching triumph at Sydney. He also figured in five matches for the 2017 Lions in New Zealand but did not appear in a Test match.
In 2014, he was out of action of action for nine months after suffering a neck injury during the Six Nations and he missed England’s summer tour to New Zealand and the subsequent QBE Internationals. Dan returned for the opening Six Nations match in 2015 and shared in the 21-16 win over Wales in Cardiff. A year on, he celebrated his 60th cap in a repeat victory in the fixture at Twickenham and a week later rumbled and twisted his way over the France line for his second try in the Grand Slam clincher in Paris. He spotted a gap in the Wallaby defence to score his third at Sydney in June last year to put England ahead after 11 minutes. His fourth, against Italy last February, came from a driving maul.
He had made his first Test start for England against Italy seven years ago before celebrating his third cap against Ireland by becoming the first England prop to score a Test try in 42 matches since Phil Vickery did so off the bench against South Africa at Twickenham in November 2006. He reached the 50-cap landmark in the 55-35 win over France in March 2015 and is England’s second most capped prop behind Jason Leonard (114), having overtaken Vickery’s total of 73 when playing against Ireland in Dublin last March. Despite having his shirt ripped off his back in a ruck, he had produced a vital, combative and skillful scrummaging performance in the 23-7 victory over Australia in Melbourne in June last year.
Dan started all five games in the 2011 RWC and also in the 2012 and 2013 RBS 6 Nations Championships. His scrummaging contributed to England’s dominance over Ireland during the 30-9 win at Twickenham in the final match of the 2012 tournament. Leicester-born, he began all four England Saxons games in 2009, including three in the Barclays Churchill Cup and has made 182 senior appearances for the Tigers and scored three tries.
His initial match, his only one in 2007-08, was in the 20-14 defeat by Bath Rugby in the EDF Energy Cup at the Recreation Ground. He spent a productive spell on loan to Bedford from 2006-08 and made 27 starts for the Blues.
He has since enhanced his reputation at tight-head prop and acknowledges the assistance of former England players Dusty Hare, Neil Back, Richard Cockerill, Graham Rowntree and Nigel Redman. A former pupil at Kibworth High School, Robert Smyth and Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth I College, he was originally a flanker with South Leicester RFC.
His success began with his part in England U18 winning the Association European Rugby (AER) festival in Lille and he played in every game in the U19 Six Nations and IRB World Championship in 2006, in which he helped the side to a third-place finish. The following year, he was a member of the England U20 squad in the Six Nations Championship before his Test career unfolded.
20 points - 4T
2010 W(R), It, I, S, F, A(1,2), NZ, A, Sam(R), SA 2011 W, It, F, S, I, W, I World Cup - Arg, G, R, S, F 2012 S, It, W, F, I, SA (1,2,3), Fj, A, SA, NZ 2013 S, I, F, It, W, A, Arg(R), NZ 2014 F, S 2015 W, It, I, S, F, F, I World Cup – Fj, W, A, U 2016 S, It, I, F, W, A(1,2,3), SA, Fj, Arg, A 2017 F, W, It, S, I, Arg, A, Sam 2018 It, W
Lions 2013: A (1R, 2R, 3R)
Last updated: 12 February 2018