Australia v England, Perth, June 12
Cole tipped to do some damage
June 11, 2010

Dan Cole has been tipped as the man to take the fight to Australia when England roll out for the first Test at the Subiaco Oval in Perth on Saturday.

The Leicester tight-head endured a difficult evening on his last appearance, against France in the final game of the Six Nations, but has been pegged as a vital part of England's attack by manager Martin Johnson and World Cup-winning team-mate Steve Thompson.

With Australia's front-row having been decimated by injuries, to props Benn Robinson and Ben Alexander and hookers Stephen Moore and Tatafu Polota-Nau, Robbie Deans has selected a trio boasting just two caps between them. Reds loose-head Ben Daley will make his debut, while hooker Saia Faingaa and tight-head Salesi Ma'afu made their bows against Fiji last weekend. Cole will be charged with inflicting some damage up front.

"Dan has got world class written all over him. He is an outstanding player," Thompson said. "He showed in the Premiership final just what an impact he can have at the top level. For such a young player to do that is awesome. He has been awesome for Leicester.

"He looks a lot older than he is. He is getting bigger, stronger and better and he is one of those players you are looking forward to playing with. I have been very impressed. He was one of the finds of the Six Nations and that includes all the teams.

"People were critical of him in the France match but for me he did nothing wrong in that first half, he scrummaged well and when he came back on in the second half he showed what he can do."

Johnson echoed Thompson's thoughts and also made clear the importance of his hooker's experience in helping Cole to develop.

"What Dan has done has been fantastic," said Johnson. "He works hard and doesn't get too carried away with himself, which is what you want and he's a bright guy.

"It's good that he's got Thommo alongside him and he's soaking up all the knowledge he can. He can play, he's got great awareness out there. In the Scotland game they did us on the inside and he put in a tackle that probably saved the match for us, as well as doing all his tight-head duties. When you are playing in that position in a Test match you haven't got much time to have a smile on your face, but he enjoys what he does."


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