JOHANNESBURG — Dan Cole is relishing another chance to challenge South Africa’s all-Sharks rugby front row, after England suffered a brutal defeat on their last meeting with the Springboks.
England lost 11-21 at Twickenham in November 2010, their seventh straight defeat to South Africa, but it was the manner of the loss which lingers in the memory — with Stuart Lancaster saying: “England got beaten up.”
Tighthead Cole is set to face imposing Durban-based trio of Tendai Mtawarira, Bismark du Plessis and Jannie du Plessis once again in the first Test at Kings Park and the Leicester Tigers man is looking forward to knocking back a couple of their talismanic figures.
The 25-year-old said: “I’ve looked at a lot of tapes and played against them before at Twickenham in the year-end internationals a couple of years ago and I’m looking forward to the challenge again.
“They’re a big physical front row who can scrummage, but also can get round the field.
There’s a couple of talisman in there who carry and get the crowd behind them, in the ‘Beast’ and Bismark du Plessis, and playing together every week will help them as they’ll know each other inside out.
“Their pack is physical and direct, but they do have some footballers outside in the backline and have some great finishers in the back three. If you give them a chance, they’ll take it, as Bryan Habana has proven on many occasions.
“That’s one of the things which makes the Springboks as good as they are — they have the power, but also the subtle touches to their game.”