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Chris Robshaw backs England team-mate Dan Cole to make Australia eat their words

Published 30/11/2016

Chris Robshaw, pictured, has come to the defence of England team-mate Dan Cole
Chris Robshaw, pictured, has come to the defence of England team-mate Dan Cole

Chris Robshaw is backing Dan Cole to brush aside Australia's attack on his scrummaging when England attempt to secure a record-equalling 14th successive Test victory on Saturday.

The Wallabies conclude the autumn schedule at Twickenham with the build-up dominated by an exchange of verbal blows from the rival head coaches, former Randwick team-mates Eddie Jones and Michael Cheika.

The scrum has provided the battleground with Jones claiming aspects of Australia's technique are illegal while Cheika insisted Cole has been "infringing the law since his career started probably".

The vast majority of Robshaw's 54 caps have been won with Cole packing down in the front row, giving him confidence in the Leicester tighthead prop's temperament when in the opposition's crosshairs.

"Dan's been around a long time. He's been playing well and he's been to two World Cups. He's an incredible player and a fantastic scrummager," Robshaw said.

"He'll go out and produce like he does every single weekend, whether that's for club or country.

"I've roomed with Dan over the past four to five years and played with him and against him, so I know what a threat he is on your scrum from when I've played against him and also what a strength he is to have in your side.

"Someone like Dan, who's been around a long time and has 70-odd caps, I don't think he'll be too fazed.

"He'll go out there and play as well as possible, as well as he always does, and produce again."

England will draw level with the triumphant run established by Sir Clive Woodward's World Cup winners if they add Australia to a collection of autumn scalps that already includes South Africa, Fiji and Argentina.

Among the results that comprise their current run is a 3-0 series whitewash of the Wallabies that was completed on their summer tour in June.

From the moment of their arrival Down Under, the Grand Slam champions faced a sneering home media with Robshaw enduring the worst of the hostility when targeted in a disparaging promotional video aired by the host broadcaster that has since been removed from the internet.

The Harlequins flanker, who marked his 50th cap with a man of the match performance in the second Test in Melbourne, is pleased to have had the last laugh.

"That is quite satisfying. We went down there and had a fair bit of abuse come our way," he said.

"I think as a group that makes you tighter together, especially when you're on the other side of the world.

"There's a huge amount of respect between England and Australia because we know how dangerous they can be. The battles we've had have been pretty even over the years.

"That England-Australian rivalry is huge and has been in all sports over the years. As a player it's great to be a part of because you know what it means.

"You've been brought up on how fierce that rivalry is. Spectators love being part of it as well and you can sense the atmosphere.

"Whenever I have played Australia - eight times - they have been an extremely dangerous side. They can hurt you from anywhere.

"Every time we've played them they've always been close games. No matter if they've been high or low scoring, there's always been only a couple of points between us.

"As a player you have to play for the full 80 and leave everything out there. All the guys are prepared to do that."

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