RugbyPass also understand that multiple offers arrived from French clubs, keen to try and pry him away from the Gallagher Premiership after the Rugby World Cup, as the 25-year-old currently sits outside of England’s matchday 23 when all players are fit, with Jamie George (92) and Dylan Hartley (77) favoured by Eddie Jones.
That said, RugbyPass understand that Cowan-Dickie is set to rebuff interest from France and Exeter’s Premiership rivals and sign a new long-term deal with the club from the south-west.
The hooker will be turning down a significant pay rise at Harlequins, where he was offered £450k to become the centrepiece of Paul Gustard’s new-look pack at the Stoop, whilst the current turmoil at Leicester is believed to be what put Cowan-Dickie off a move to the East Midlands, as he bids to reinforce his credentials for a spot with England.
Injuries and the form of George and Hartley have limited Cowan-Dickie to just seven caps for England to date, but with Hartley likely to be out of the England mix for the next Rugby World Cup cycle and Exeter well set to keep their place near the top of the Premiership table, the front rower believes that staying in Devon is the best move to further his international ambitions.
Those seven caps have all come from the bench and he has been hard-pressed to break up the Hartley and George partnership, but if he can stay fit over the second half of the season and help keep up Exeter’s bid for Premiership success, then he could find himself on the plane to Japan next year, with the third hooker spot well and truly up for grabs.
Watch: Exceptional Stories: Ian McKinley
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