Five Bold Predictions For The 2023 Six Nations - Page 3 of 5 - Ruck

Five Bold Predictions For The 2023 Six Nations

3. Steve Borthwick will use Cole’s experience to tighten up England’s set-piece

It was confirmed by the newly appointed Head Coach, that Dan Cole has made a return to the England conditioning camp. Cole has not been a part of an England set up since the 2019 Rugby World Cup Final loss against the Springboks, but the 35-year-old could be back in the mix for a comeback after Borthwick’s appointment.

Leicester Tigers player Dan Cole during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Match between Leicester Tigers and London Irish on the first midweek round of matches as part of the Return to Rugby campaign as rugby continues after COVID 19 lockdown at Welford Road on 26 Aug. Photo: Steve Bond/PPAUK/Gallagher

Cole was a pivotal leader in the Leicester Tigers squad who won the 2021/22 Gallagher Premiership, in what was Borthwick’s crowing moment at the club. Tigers had a dominant scrum set-up throughout the season, pillared by the partnership of England teammates Dan Cole and Ellis Genge, prior to the ‘Baby Rhino’s’ departure to Bristol.

It is unclear what Cole’s involvement is in the camp, and whether he will make an on-field return. However, his experience will no-doubt be valuable tutelage to the fresh-faced front rowers, and tighten up an area of England’s game that has come under recent scrutiny. England fans would hope to have a toughened up set-piece at scrum time under their new Head Coach.

Borthwick knows how to build a solid forward foundation at international level. His knowledge helped orchestrate the famous 2015 Japan victory over South Africa, coincidentally however, as the assistant coach to one Eddie Jones.