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Cole ready for first start of Lions tour

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Dan Cole says he cannot wait to get going in his first start of the British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.

Leicester Tigers tighthead prop Cole has been named in the starting XV to take on The Blues at Eden Park on Wednesday
He sat out the opening game of the tour on Saturday as the Lions launched their tour with a 13-7 win over New Zealand Provincial Barbarians.
Cole said: “I’m feeling good and excited to play.
“Having watched the game on Saturday I think that everyone was just wanting to get out there and play. That has been the case since touching down last Wednesday.
“I’ve had to wait a while but I’m excited to get out there and play.”
Cole, who was capped three times on the victorious Lions tour to Australia four years ago, said The Blues will provide a stern examination as the squad towards the Test series with New Zealand.
“The Blues have some quality guys up front,” said Cole. “Charlie Faumuina has played a lot of games for the All Blacks. He is a quality operator.
“It will be big Test for us. We know they are a smart side. New Zealand franchises, there’s possibly a perception in the Northern Hemisphere they are not the strongest at the set-piece but in actual fact they are clever, they know how to operate, they know how to win their own ball and how to put pressure on the opposition.
“It’s going to be good for us. We know it’s going to be tough up front and that’s what you want on tour,” Cole told talkSPORT/talkSPORT 2.
He added: “We don’t have to be perfect tomorrow but ideally you win the game.
“We are here for six weeks and there are another couple of weekends before the first Test. That’s when you’ve really got to be hitting your straps.
“It’s our first time playing together, first time playing on this tour, first time playing in some combinations so it’s just about building momentum, gelling as a team, gelling as a forward pack and ideally it’s another step up from Saturday and a step forward on the tour.”
Click here for Lions team news ahead of Wednesday’s game against The Blues.