Luke Cowan-Dickie: Rob Baxter’s injury update rules England hooker out of the Six Nations

Exeter Chief boss Rob Baxter says hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie will not play any part in England's Six Nations campaign. Credit: Alamy
Exeter Chief boss Rob Baxter says hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie will not play any part in England's Six Nations campaign. Credit: Alamy

Exeter Chief boss Rob Baxter says hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie will not play any part in England’s Six Nations campaign.

The 29-year-old suffered an ankle injury against Northampton Saints in early January and now faces a race against time to feature for Exeter again this season, never mind the Six Nations for England.

Cowan-Dickie was expected to miss the opening rounds of the Six Nations, but there were hopes he would return later in the Championship. However, Baxter’s latest update ends those hopes.

England injury concerns

His injury timeline adds further pressure on Steve Borthwick’s hooker stocks, with Jamie George withdrawing from the squad with a concussion and George McGuigan with a knee problem.

Unless Saracens hooker George recovers in time, Jack Walker is likely to earn an England debut against Scotland on February 4. Bath’s Tom Dunn has also been called into the squad to cover for the injuries and could add to his three Test caps.

“The length of Luke’s injury means he should be back before the end of the season. The challenge will be whether it’s one or two weeks before the end of the season,” Baxter said.

“It’s not going to be a big chunk of the season that he gets back available for.”

Hogg update

Baxter’s update on Cowan-Dickie adds to doubt over whether he will play for Exeter again, having signed a deal to join Montpellier after the Rugby World Cup.

Meanwhile, Baxter revealed that full-back Stuart Hogg has returned to full training following his battle with a heel injury and has been training with Scotland this week ahead of the Six Nations.

After securing a place in the knockout stages of the Champions Cup, Exeter are back in action in the Premiership this weekend.

Baxter’s charges host Gloucester at Sandy Park on Saturday, a match that should see Hogg make his return from injury after five weeks on the sidelines.

READ MORE: Six Nations: Five storylines to follow, including the start of the Steve Borthwick era and Warren Gatland’s return

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