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Video: Cole happy to pool his knowledge for greater good

Dan Cole might not like being reminded that he is one of the elder statesmen of the 2017 Lions front row but the England prop has enjoyed passing on his experiences to his younger teammates.  

“It’s almost play, train, play and you want that momentum to roll.”

Cole is the oldest of the six props in the 2017 touring party at 30 – and with 74 England caps and a previous Lions tour on his CV – has seen it all in the international game.

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Four years ago in Australia – when Cole came off the bench in all three Tests against the Wallabies – Cole was the youngster with the likes Adam Jones and Matt Stevens to learn from.

This time around Kyle Sinckler and Tadhg Furlong are the younger generation but Cole insists all three of them are learning from each other.

“My role has changed a bit from 2013 – I am the old man so thanks for that!” he said.

“I am learning as much as they are. That’s similar to the last Tour in that regard, there are guys around you that you haven’t played with before so you want to learn off them as much as you can because that’s how you get better as a player.

“And yes you might have been in situations they haven’t been in before and if that’s the case then you are there to talk.

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“I am rooming with Tadhg at the minute and I know ‘Sink’ well from England, so you have those conversations as much as you can to help each other out for the team.”

Cole will make his first start of the Tour on Wednesday against the Blues at Eden Park, packing down in the front row alongside captain for the day Ken Owens and Jack McGrath.

And after the Lions victory over the Barbarians in their Tour opener, the Leicester Tigers knows the importance of getting on a roll heading into the Test series against the All Blacks.

“A win is very important, we want to build momentum from Saturday and keep rolling,” he added.

“This is the first franchise we are going to play and it’s the first time most of us are going to play so it is essential that we perform. You have to try and push the Tour on and build momentum going into the game that come thick and fast.

“It’s almost play, train, play and you want that momentum to roll – you want to win every game on Tour so it’s important we win this week.”

Warren Gatland has changed all of the starting XV from the first game and Cole is enjoying gelling with new teammates who will need to be at their best to take on the Blues.

“I have never played with Ken (Owens) and Jack (McGrath) before, we have played against each other but we have trained together now for a week,” he added.

“Obviously it won’t be as seamless as if you had played 50 games together but we have to accelerate that process and being in this environment everything is accelerated anyway.

“You are here for six weeks, living with each other so in that regard you can’t escape each other and you know you have to gel quickly.

“I think from Saturday night, the boys that played have had that hit out, the boys that haven’t are anxious to get out there and play. Everyone is excited to get underway.”

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