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Returning Cole is an invaluable asset to England, says Hatley

Dan Cole has been recalled to the England squad (Adam Davy/PA)
Dan Cole has been recalled to the England squad (Adam Davy/PA)

By Duncan Bech

England's veteran prop Dan Cole has been given the chance to revive his international career after addressing his weaknesses under instruction from Eddie Jones.

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Cole is poised to win his 79th cap and first for nearly a year after ousting Harry Williams from the matchday 23 for Sunday's Six Nations clash with France at Twickenham.

Scrum coach Neal Hatley has revealed that the 31-year-old's comeback is reward for his determination to remain a tighthead option for England.

"Dan responded really well to being left out. He's hit some of the best numbers we've seen from him in training," Hatley said. "He's really attacked the areas we've asked him to improve on. He's applied himself, hence his reintroduction.

"He's a guy with close on 90 caps and is a British and Irish Lions tourist so his experience is invaluable."

The other front-row change sees Ellis Genge make way for Ben Moon as supporting loosehead to Mako Vunipola, with Jones set to reveal his starting XV this morning.

Hatley said: "It's a close call, but with the form Dan and Ben have been in - they've gone well - we think it's a good opportunity to put pressure on Ellis, Harry, Kyle Sinkler and Mako. We're trying to develop strength in depth."

Cole and Moon are superb scrummagers, but Hatley denies their recall has been motivated by the strength of the French set-piece.

"You can never guarantee who starts, who finishes or how many scrums you'll get," Hatley said.

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