Cole: 'England are not arrogant'
January 30, 2013
Dan Cole is relishing the chance to face Scotland © Getty Images
England's Dan Cole has dismissed suggestions that the side are arrogant and has emphasised that they need no motivation in their quest to become the best team in the world.
Former Scotland coach Jim Telfer on Tuesday labelled England "too arrogant, too pretentious and too condescending" leading coach Andy Farrell to suggest that they were made in an attempt to rile the England side and to give Scotland some more motivation. And Cole dismissed the accusations as predictable, hackneyed cliches and outlined how England will go into the game driven by the head, not the heart.
"You know it's coming so it's boring in that regard because it's the standard go-to," Cole said. "People say 'We're arrogant, we're this, that and the other'. You can believe it if you want but I don't think we are.
"Yes we're confident in ourselves, yes we back ourselves and what we do, and we're confident going onto the field we can win games, but I wouldn't say we cross the line of arrogance. We understand where we are and how we're perceived. Our motivation comes from how we want to progress as a side.
"If we want to be the best side in the world we have to win this game. It starts this week. We have continue what we did in the autumn into this game. That is the motivation, to go out and win."
England return to Twickenham on Saturday for the first time since their record victory over New Zealand and expectation levels will be high. Telfer's criticisms of England were that certain key players had believed their own publicity after that victory over the All Blacks, and that Stuart Lancaster's side are not as good as they think.
But Cole is fully aware of the threats Scotland pose. "We set the bar quite high and people will expect us to win because we beat New Zealand and New Zealand beat Scotland in the autumn," Cole said. "But we know that is not the case. The expectation is different now and we have to manage that as a team. Scotland are a dangerous team to play against.
"They've got nothing to lose. They've got an interim coaching staff and have been written off, much as we were last year, and we finished second. Every time I've played Scotland it's been close. They will come down and try and batter us physically."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
A preview of the 2014-15 Aviva Premiership season as we run the rule over Bath, Exeter Chiefs, Gloucester, Harlequins, Leicester Tigers and London Irish
Concussion specialist Dr Ryan Kohler warns of the dangers of pushy parents who want their kids back on the field ahead of time
ESPN looks at the forthcoming season of the Guinness PRO12 and assesses how each of the 12 teams will do
"Like the Treaty of Versailles, despite all the promises, the new Participation Agreement is certainly not the final solution." John Taylor writes