Luke Cowan-Dickie: England hooker receives Six Nations blow while Exeter also issue update on Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg

Luke Cowan-Dickie injured and could miss the Six Nations for England while Rob Baxter provides an update on Stuart Hogg ahead of the Champions Cup clash with the Bulls. Credit: Alamy
Luke Cowan-Dickie injured and could miss the Six Nations for England while Rob Baxter provides an update on Stuart Hogg ahead of the Champions Cup clash with the Bulls. Credit: Alamy

England have been dealt a blow after Exeter hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie was ruled out for at least the start of their Six Nations campaign due to injury.

The nuggety front-row suffered an ankle injury during the second half of his club’s 35-12 win over Northampton Saints in the Premiership over the weekend.

Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter described the injury as “relatively bad”, adding that Cowan-Dickie could require surgery which would increase his absence.

Has not travelled to South Africa

The Lions hooker hasn’t travelled to South Africa with the rest of his Exeter team-mates ahead of this weekend’s game against the Bulls in the Champions Cup.

“I believe he’s seeing a surgeon today and the surgeon will then give us an indication,” Baxter revealed, with the news set to be of interest to Steve Borthwick.

“I think at this stage, we have got to say it is relatively bad.

“I don’t want to be flippant and say it will be eight weeks, 10 weeks, 12 weeks (out).

“I think we are assessing that, but you are not going to be seeing him running around in the next three or four weeks.”

England kick off their Six Nations campaign at home to Scotland on Saturday, February 4, with the absence of 40-cap Cowan-Dickie a blow to their forwards.

He’s currently in his final season for Exeter before joining Top 14 side Montpellier, with Baxter shedding more light on the injury he suffered at Sandy Park.

“If you look at the mechanism of the injury, it’s pretty awkward,” he added.

“He ends up kind of half-breaking through a tackle, someone fell on the back of his legs, and he ends up with his ankles crossed and one foot twists underneath him.

“He was very annoyed on Saturday evening, as you can imagine. He had been massively looking forward to coming over here (South Africa), experiencing being over here with the club and being involved in a big game.

“The Heineken Cup means a lot to him and the truth is, he is a really good guy and really wants to have a big impact this season with him leaving. I think a lot of that really bothered him.

“Having said that, if there is a guy who can come back on time or sooner from an injury, it does tend to be Luke.

“I think there is a lot of the season left for him, but we just want to get things rolling quickly so we can get that rehab down significantly so he doesn’t miss too much more of the season.”

Stuart Hogg also out for Exeter

Exeter will also be without Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg for their European showdown at Loftus Versfeld as he remains on the sidelines with a heel problem.

“Stuart did a fitness test on Saturday pre-game and still couldn’t run at speed or couldn’t put any distance in his heel. It was still too sore,” Baxter continued.

“He will be doing a kind of rehab programme this week while we are away. As soon as his heel is comfortable enough, he will be declared fit to play again.

“It’s not like a ligament thing or something that will require an operation.”

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The article Luke Cowan-Dickie: England hooker receives Six Nations blow while Exeter also issue update on Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg appeared first on Planetrugby.com.