Dan Cole has claimed media spin was to blame for Leicester making the wrong sort of headlines in recent weeks. There were allegations that the across the board pay cuts at the club due to the indefinite suspension of the season had sparked a revolt by a number of players. But the tighthead has played down the rancour, insisting some reports didn’t reflect the actual mood at the Premiership club. 

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“The problem with coming out in the media is it gets a spin on it that isn’t the tone of what was probably actually going on,” said Cole on the latest Leicester Tigers TV weekly update.

“Yes, as players of course you speak to your agents and seek legal counsel. It’s unprecedented times in what we are doing. Everyone is entitled to do that and the media have played out that the club was in massive dispute or at civil war and it wasn’t the case at all. 

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“Because no one knows what is going on really, you’re allowed find advice and that is what people did and obviously that has got out one way or another and tried to stir the pot when actually the club and the players have worked really hard to protect the club which is the most important thing.”

Cole’s last match before the coronavirus pandemic’s stoppage of rugby was eight weeks ago on March 7 at Saracens. With Leicester locked out of their Oval Park training ground due to the lockdown restrictions, there is a concern that players might struggle to stay fine-tuned due to the limited training options they have at home. 

However, the prop – who turns 33 on May 9 – said all was well with efforts to ensure his 19st-plus frame was ticking along nicely despite the rugby restrictions. “I’m keeping my mass on. Don’t worry about that. I spoke to Boris Stankovich, ‘the nutritionist’, before lockdown and he gave me his eating plan. 

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“There is only so much scrummaging the boys will do in the back garden. You’re basically just trying to keep your neck strength up and that’s about it really. You sort of neck, shoulder strength, all the stuff that comes in contact. But you can’t really replicate. I’m not pushing against the tree anyway in the back garden yet.” 

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