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'Significant' injury rules Cowan-Dickie out of the Six Nations

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Dan Mullan/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

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Luke Cowan-Dickie will play no further part in the 2022 Guinness Six Nations with England because of the knee injury sustained against Wales. The hooker, who could also be ruled out for the rest of the season with the damage sustained in the first half of the 23-19 round three victory, will now miss England’s last two matches against Ireland and France

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Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter said: “It’s a pretty significant injury. It’s a knee ligament and a bit of cartilage damage. There is further assessment going on but he’s definitely going to be out for a significant period of time, possibly the rest of the season.”

Cowan-Dickie was one of three starters from last Saturday’s Twickenham game – along with Tom Curry and Elliot Daly – not included in the 25-man England squad named on Wednesday for this week’s three-day training camp in Bristol.

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“Obviously it’s a big blow, not just for us, but for Luke himself as he is a very important and very good player,” continued Baxter. “We have got some hope that he could feature towards the end of the season, that is if we extend our season from getting into that top four, but right now it’s too early to say if that’s fully the case.

“As I said, the biggest blow is for Luke himself as he has just cemented himself as a starter for England. He was going well, he was part of their leadership group and he is a key player both for us and England. That said, he is a very good rehabber and if there is a chance for him to get back, 100 per cent he is the guy who can do it, so don’t write him off just yet.”

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Baxter added that Cowan-Dickie, who was part of the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa last summer, is likely to undergo his operation early next week. With Cowan-Dickie ruled out, it means Jamie George is poised to regain the No2 England jersey while at Exeter, Jack Innard and Jack Yeandle will be occupying the No2 jersey moving forward.

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“Jack Innard has been playing very well and Jack Yeandle, as always, brings real impact to things,” continued Baxter. “Equally, it’s a good opportunity for some of our other hookers to step up and get involved as well, so we will just get on and do the best we can.”

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