Dan Cole is ready to make Australia hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau regret he ever claimed the Wallabies would dominate England’s scrum in Saturday’s Cook Cup showdown.
Australia were out-muscled by France at the weekend as they crashed 33-6 in Paris and Polota-Nau was expressing his confidence that the wounded Wallabies could bounce back.
But the fighting talk did not go unnoticed at England’s Pennyhill Park headquarters and Cole is ready to open some of the Wallabies’ old scrummaging wounds.
Asked whether England will “pulverise” Australia up front, as they did in both Tests on the 2010 summer tour, Cole said: “We will attempt to. In any Test match you want that forward dominance and that set-piece dominance, especially at scrum time.
“Australia are reeling from being beaten by France and they’ll come here firing. They’ve already mentioned that they want to dominate us - so bring it on.
“We respect the opposition and we’ll do whatever we have to do to deal with them.”
Cole’s calm and measured response reminded those in the room of Steve Thompson’s description of the Leicester tight-head as “the old serial killer - quiet but effective”.
The 25-year-old has become the cornerstone of the England pack, missing just one of the last 33 Test matches since his debut against Wales in 2010.