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Cole applauds Tigers support on his comeback

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Dan Cole says the Leicester Tigers supporters played a big part in pushing a young home team to victory over Sale Sharks in the LV= Cup on Sunday.

International prop Cole made his first club appearance since January, returning from surgery on a neck injury to play the last half-hour of Sunday’s game in front of a 17,739 crowd at Welford Road.
“The crowd was fantastic, especially in the second half. The boys responded to that,” he said.
“I think the crowd was getting bit frustrated in the first half but they were noisy in the second half and got right behind the team and the team fed off that.
“That support is what gets you going. The first half didn’t go as we wanted but the spirit was great, it was about pulling together and making the hard yards and making your tackles. You put in the effort, the crowd responds and the team responds to the crowd.”
Cole has 79 first-team starting appearances – four times more than the total of the starting forward pack as Tigers gave a chance to players in the development and academy ranks. But after coming back from a long break, he was thankful for the opportunity.
“It was a real collective effort,” he said.
“The effort from a young team coming back was great, it was good to be part of that.
“I made my debut in this competition, as a lot of players have. It gives you a taste of what first-team rugby is like.
“Credit to the boys for backing up the win last week. They’ve put the work in off the field and now they’ve put a marker down for the rest of the year.”
Cole came through his first 30 minutes of action since last season’s Six Nations and said: “I’m tired, but that’s to be expected. I’m pleased to get out and run about again.
“The conditioning staff have been great, they’ve done a lot of hard work and you do as much as you can to get ready to be on the field but nothing is exactly the same until you get back on to the pitch.
“I’m pleased I’m back on the field, it’s what you are here to do.”