English Rugby
Cole wades into captaincy debate
ESPNscrum Staff
January 7, 2012
England's Dan Cole feels the cold during training, Carisbook, Dunedin, New Zealand, September 8, 2011
Dan Cole: Praying for success in the Six Nations © Getty Images

Leicester prop Dan Cole has become the latest player mentioned as a possible England captain for the coming 2012 Six Nations tournament.

Cole believes the success of Stuart Lancaster's team will come down to players of his age group taking on greater responsibility, something which the 24-year-old says hasn't happened in recent times. It is this kind of no-nonsense approach which has pushed Cole into leadership contention.

"Yes, there was a lack of accountability there, an unwillingness to put your hand up," Cole told the Guardian. "Yes, the fans were right to feel let down and we do owe them something starting with this Six Nations Championship.

"We've got to show that we're not a bunch of plonkers as has been portrayed. And, yes, it is time for my kind of age group to come to the fore and get on with taking responsibility."

"Leadership is not about all sorts of rah-rah speeches. It's about setting standards in everything that you do, turning up on time, wearing the right kit, conducting yourself properly and aspiring to be world-class on all fronts.

"I guess it's about conducting yourself properly, going about your business in the right way. If you do that, then everything else follows.

"You've got to be accountable. At Leicester, if you deserve a rollocking, you get one. If it means being made an example of for the good of the team, I'm fine with that as long as it applies across the board, from superstars to first-cappers."

Cole also stated his desire to right the wrongs of last year as England look to make amends for a disappointing World Cup campaign. In order to do so, Cole says, England players must not dwell on the past, which is an attitude he has taken into his approach to club rugby.

"We had a terrible 20 minutes against France and that was it, the World Cup over and two years preparation pretty much wasted," said Cole. "It can go down the drain so quickly. I've learnt from it and I hope others have. You've got to be on your game all the time.

"We all had three or four days off and that was it, get on with the job. You can't take England stuff into the Leicester changing room.

"Your duty is to help turn it around at the club. Your responsibility is to your Tigers' team-mates and the fans. Simple as that. No moping."

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