England prop Dan Cole warns Argentina ‘will be formidable’ and can unleash ‘some magic’ ahead of Rugby World Cup opener
Dan Cole is under no illusions about the problems Argentina will pose for England in their opening Rugby World Cup Pool A encounter, but believes they have the experience to stand them in good stead.
England face Argentina in Marseille on Saturday night (8pm); with the latter the overriding favourites for the showdown.
The South Americans go into the fixture off the back of an encouraging summer which saw them beat Australia away from home in the Rugby Championship and lose by a point to reigning world champions South Africa in another match. Their most recent fixture saw them thrash Spain 62-3.
Michael Cheika’s squad have a plethora of threats throughout their side, with their forward pack clout matched by their breathtaking backline play.
And speaking about their upcoming opponent, England prop Cole, who will start in the opening pool game against Argentina, was nothing but respectful.
Dan Cole has warned his England team-mates of the threat Argentina will pose on Saturday
Argentina face England in their Rugby World Cup opener and go into the match as favourites
England’s Rugby World Cup group matches
Argentina – September 9 (Marseille)
Japan – September 17 (Nice)
Chile – September 23 (Lille)
Samoa – October 7 (Lille)
‘They’ve been a very tough team to play against, they’ve been close in all the games they’ve played,’ he told Mail Sport at the Wear the Rose event at the O2 Arena last month.
‘I know Julian Montoya the captain well, they’ve got a very forward pack and a very good goal kicker [Emiliano Boffelli] and some magic in the outside backs who can cause problems.
‘We’ve looked at them from a far and know they will be a formidable opponent.’
For 36-year-old Cole, this will likely be his last Rugby World Cup campaign. Having been a part of the three previous England squads in 2011, 2015 and 2019 he is well versed in what is required to go far in a tournament such as this.
England head coach Steve Borthwick’s build-up has been far-from-perfect with three defeats out of four in their warm-up matches, losing key players to injuries plus suffering suspensions to captain Owen Farrell and sole No 8 Billy Vunipola.
The 36-year-old feels England can surprise many – citing the depth within the squad
But despite this, Cole believes the squad has a good balance which will stand them in good stead over the next two months.
‘There’s a lot of experience,’ he said when asked how does it compare to previous Rugby World Cup camps.
‘You look at the 2019 squad and there’s a lot of players who played in that final who are in here now and there’s a lot of young guys who have come through who have gained experience over the past couple of years like Freddie Steward, Ollie Chessum – they add to the squad and bring youth to the table which is great.
‘It’s been an accelerated process with Steve coming in ahead of the Six Nations but he knew that, the team knew that and we’ve tried to work as hard as we can to get ready for what’s to come.’
Veteran prop Cole spoke to Mail Sport at the Wear the Rose event at the O2 Arena
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