‘We’re here for a purpose’: Dan Cole urges England to find World Cup focus

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Veteran tighthead prop says getting the balance right on and off the pitch is important before Saturday’s opener with Argentina

As Dan Cole prepares to take the field at a fourth World Cup against Argentina on Saturday, the veteran tighthead prop has cause to reflect on his previous three. Inevitably, it is his first that sticks in the mind, the ill-fated 2011 tournament in New Zealand. He did not jump into the Auckland harbour, as Manu Tuilagi infamously did, but as Cole confesses: “I held his phone.”

When it comes to striking the balance between avoiding cabin fever at a lengthy tournament – if England reach the last weekend in France they will have been here for two months – and going off the rails, their campaign 12 years ago was a salutary lesson in how not to do it. “One of the things I’ve learned, particularly with 2011, you can come along for the ride,” says Cole, who is poised to start on Saturday. “You turn up, think it’s brilliant to be at a World Cup and you just turn up, train, and think: ‘We’ll enjoy somewhere new,’ and you can get lost in the experience. Or you turn up like 2019 and now, and dive into the World Cup in terms of: ‘We’re here for a purpose.’

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Written by Gerard Meagher in Le Touquet
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2023/sep/06/squad-culture-key-to-englands-rugby-world-cup-chances-insists-dan-cole under the title “‘We’re here for a purpose’: Dan Cole urges England to find World Cup focus”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.