Six Nations 2013: Dan Cole keen to manage England’s expectations

Six Nations 2013: Dan Cole says that England will have to manage their expectations at this year's tournament

stuart lancaster
England face Scotland in their Six Nations opener on Saturday The Sport Review

stuart lancaster

Dan Cole admits that he and his England team-mates will have to manage expectations in this year’s Six Nations, starting with their Twickenham clash with Scotland on Saturday.

Stuart Lancaster’s side go into the Calcutta Cup match as prohibitive favourites after an autumn international series that saw them become the first side to beat the All Blacks in 21 games.

That record-breaking 38-21 success has catapulted England back into the spotlight of world rugby after the disappointment of the 2011 World Cup campaign.

In direct contrast, Scotland’s winless autumn series saw head coach Andy Robinson resign and Scott Johnson replace him at the helm on an interim basis.

But despite the differing preparations, Cole has warned those expecting a Red Rose whitewash to think again ahead of battle commencing this weekend.

“We set the bar quite high and people will expect us to win because we beat New Zealand and New Zealand beat Scotland in the autumn,” Cole said.

“But we know that is not the case. The expectation is different now and we have to manage that as a team. Scotland are a dangerous team to play against.

“They’ve got nothing to lose. They’ve got an interim coaching staff and have been written off, much as we were last year, and we finished second.

“Every time I’ve played Scotland it’s been close. They will come down and try and batter us physically.”

© Sportsbeat 2012

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