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Six Nations: England prop Dan Cole ready for front row scrap against Italy

Last Updated: 10/03/13 2:47pm

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Dan Cole (left) knows that Italy will be tough up front

Dan Cole (left) knows that Italy will be tough up front

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England prop Dan Cole is expecting Italy to be fiercely competitive in the scrum when the Azzurri pack down at Twickenham on Sunday.

Italy have always placed a premium on the set-piece and their pack - led by Cole's Leicester front row colleague Martin Castrogiovanni - have already impressed in this year's Six Nations Championship.

Cole told Sky Sports: "The way they have srummaged so far in this competition, the first two games they were what you would expect from Italy.

"Against Wales they came a little bit unstuck but we said they would go away and focus on their scrum, like we will do after our performance against France. It will be two good sides trying to go at it."

Cole is wary of the threat posed by the Italians - despite some bookmakers making the visitors 25/1 outsiders to derail England's Grand Slam bid at Twickenham.

The Tigers tight-head added: "We are focused on just getting better as an England side day by day.

"We are focused on Italy. They are coming to Twickenham with nothing to lose. They are a dangerous side, we saw that against France earlier in the tournament and we don't want to be on the end of that kind of result."

As for the mood in the camp ahead of two games in six days that will decide whether England claim their first Grand Slam for a decade, Cole said: "It's good, very high

"We have had three tough games in the competition. We had last weekend off, the boys were able to rest, recuperate, go back to their clubs and just have a weekend away from the game in some regards.

"Today we are back in training, focusing on the next 12 days which is Italy and Wales."

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