Cole ready to tame 'The Beast'
June 6, 2012
Dan Cole is likely to face Tendai Mtawarira on Saturday © Getty Images
England prop Dan Cole is fully aware of the threats South African loosehead Tendai Mtawarira poses ahead of the first Test on Saturday.
Mtawarira famously dismantled veteran tight-head Phil Vickery in the first Test of the 2009 British & Irish Lions series and looks set to start the first Test against England. Cole was part of the front-row that hammered Ireland in the final match of the 2012 Six Nations and is relishing the chance to test himself against 'The Beast' come Saturday.
"He is a good talisman for the Sharks and Springboks," Cole said. "He plays in Durban and gets the crowd behind him. We saw from Twickenham that if you get the crowd behind you that can carry the team.
"He is a strong character, he gets around the field and knows his set-piece. I have played against him once before, two years ago, and I am looking forward to the challenge once again.
"The scrummage should be fun, but if it goes well it should be more fun. This is what you come to South Africa for, to take on the packs. We have got a challenge on Saturday but if you want to be the best you have got to come up against the best and beat the best.
"The Beast is up there in world looseheads as one of the best and I want to go there and take him on."
Another member of the pack that was responsible for the dismantling of Ireland's forwards, England's Geoff Parling, has sounded a note of caution for the side ahead of the match with South Africa. While England performed above expectation in the recent Six Nations, Parling insists that any notion of over-confidence is wide of the mark.
"It is important to move on from the Six Nations," Parling said. "I think we exceeded a lot of expectations but we didn't actually win it.
"We were second and we want to strive to win those competitions. It is about moving on from there, trying to get better. There is no better opportunity than coming here and trying to do it."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.