England urged to build side around Cole
December 26, 2012
Boks boss Heyneke Meyer sees Dan Cole as England's major weapon © Getty Images
Prop Dan Cole has been hailed as one of England's most destructive weapons and coach Stuart Lancaster has been urged to build his side around a player rated as "very close to being the best tight-head in the world" by South Africa boss Heyneke Meyer.
The Leicester lynchpin caught Meyer's eye throughout 2012 - a year that included an intense three-Test series against the Springboks in the summer and closely-fought clash last month - and the Boks' boss, who coached Cole at the Tigers during a six-month spell at Welford Road four years ago, has nothing but praise for his former charger.
"Dan Cole is very close to being the best tight-head in the world and I think he can go on to become that. I really rate him," Meyer told the Daily Express. "What makes him such a great player is that as well as being a great scrummager, he is one of the best ball stealers I have seen. He really gets around."
Cole, 25, has missed only one of England's past 36 Tests and will be an automatic selection for the Six Nations if he can maintain his form and fitness with his next outing set to come in the Tigers' Premiership clash with Gloucester this weekend.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Proposals to remove promotion and relegation from the Aviva Premiership would be for the good of the game overall, argues John Taylor
Ireland have the world sitting up and taking notice - and rugby's structure in Europe will aid their Rugby World Cup bid, writes John Mitchell
Where does Italy's win over Scotland rank among their successes in the Six Nations? Scrum Sevens investigates
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery