Despite playing in Leicester’s LV= Cup win at Welford Road on Sunday, tighthead prop Dan Coles is not ready for a Test return.
Despite playing the last 32 minutes of Leicester’s LV= Cup win at Welford Road on Sunday, tighthead prop Dan Coles is not ready for a Test return.
That was the word from the Tigers’ director of rugby Richard Cockerill who said Cole – who was sidelined for nine months after neck surgery – is not ready to play in England’s remaining November internationals against South Africa, Samoa and Australia.
“I think it’s too early for Dan to play, he has not played for nine months,” explained Cockerill.
“He played just 30 minutes today so it’s unrealistic to throw him in against the Springboks, or even Samoa and Australia.
“He needs to get back to full fitness, and we also have to look at the bigger picture, the next 10 years for us and for England the Six Nations and the World Cup.
“Coley will be so important to England if they are going to win the World Cup. He could potentially be the difference.
“So short term, the next three weeks, is irrelevant to Coley. The Six Nations is a realistic target and then it’s the World Cup.
“He is one of England’s major assets so I don’t think you can risk Coley’s fitness in the short term for his long term health and England’s World Cup chances.”
Cole impressed when he came off the bench and helped Leicester to secure a 29-13 victory after they trailed 13-3 at half-time.