Dan Cole is desperate for his twin sons to see him back in an England shirt after a three-year hiatus… with the 35-year-old prop named in the Six Nations squad by new head coach Steve Borthwick
- Cole made his last appearance for England over three years ago
- He was called up by Borthwick for England’s mini-training camp last week
- And the gag has a chance to be named on Monday’s Six Nations squad
Dan Cole’s twins, Ralph and Henry, are too young to remember their father playing for England.
More than three years have passed since his last appearance for the national team. They are more familiar with Welford Road, where they snoop around changing rooms and get into mischief with his Leicester teammates.
“They came to watch some of England’s warm-up games when they were two,” the prop recalled. “They’re six now. They come to Leicester and say, ‘Dad, can we go on the pitch and wave to people’. They go into the locker rooms and pull pranks, shake cans of Coca-Cola and say to someone, “Can you open this for me?”
Dan Cole (above) made his last appearance for England more than three years ago
“They tried to get Anthony Watson, but it didn’t fizzle. Guy Porter took off his boot and one of the twins stood on his foot and said, “Oh, sorry!”
Chances are Ralph and Henry will be returning to Twickenham soon.
Cole, 35, was called up to the mini-training camp in England by Steve Borthwick last week. It was his first session in England since the 2019 World Cup and the prop has a chance of a place in Monday’s Six Nations squad.
The Leicester gag with his twin sons Ralph and Henry on Welford Road
“It was a mix of emotions,” Cole said. “There is fear of returning, but there is also gratitude.
“The World Cup final happens and you think, ‘Get back on the horse and straighten it out’. You want to continue the good times, but it didn’t happen. You are the only change in the team. Brilliant! But you accept it.’
With Will Stuart injured, England’s tight supplies are running thin. Cole became a cornerstone of Borthwick’s regular operation at Leicester and could become a short-term option through to this autumn’s World Cup.
“I was grateful to Steve for inviting me (to training camp) – playing for your country is one of the best things to do,” added Cole.
“To get another chance when you never thought you would…you can be more relaxed, give it your best shot and see what happens. If it happens, that would be great.’
Cole could also make an appearance at Twickenham in May as former England boss Eddie Jones hopes to convince him to play for the Barbarians. Jones also targets Sam Simmonds as he plots the defeat of a Steve Hansen-led World XV.