Cole struggling for Six Nations opener
ESPN Staff
January 8, 2015
Dan Cole is England's latest injury concern © Getty Images

England could be without Dan Cole for their Six Nations opener against Wales.

Cole made a successful return from neck surgery in November having been sidelined for 10 months. The injury saw him miss the second-half of the 2013-14 Aviva Premiership season and England's tour to New Zealand.

Cole last played for England in the 2014 Six Nations and it looks like he might miss the start of this year's championship due to a foot injury. The predicament is similar for his team-mate Manu Tuilagi.

"Manu and Coley are probably still end of the month at this point," Cockerill says in The Times. "They may well be fit for it (Wales v England) but whether they will be match fit I don't know. We will see."

While Cole is set to miss the opener, Cockerill believes there are few better hookers than his team-mate Tom Youngs. The Tigers coach added: "If there is a better hooker in England after the weekend I don't know who he is. Tommy has been outstanding for us.

"If Rob Webber has any pretensions of playing at Test level in front of Tom Youngs, you saw at the weekend the difference: the ball-carrying, the mentality, the mauling. Tom is a different league, for me, to Hartley and to Webber."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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