It came as a welcome relief for Cole having been used as a replacement in his previous three international appearances, all on the successful Lions tour in Australia.
The last time he began on the bench for England was during the 2010 autumn internationals with Cole having grown used to appearing from the off for the Red Rose.
Cole hasn't forgotten his somewhat bittersweet Lions experience though and will do everything in his power to ensure there is no choice but to start him if he tour again in his career.
"I was happy to be involved but you want to play, you want to start and I didn't," said Cole. "I came home frustrated and, while we won the series, I'll use it as motivation.
"The next time round I want to be starting. When you go from number one to number two you have to push yourself harder if you really want it.
"You're never going to play the perfect game but that's what you strive for."