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Cowan-Dickie ready to finish the job off against Ireland

The England No2 may be the form hooker this year but he is prepared to play the long game.

Cowan-Dickie celebrates scoring against Ireland.
Cowan-Dickie celebrates scoring against Ireland.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

LUKE COWAN-DICKIE IS playing a game of patience, knowing his form merits a start in the England side to face Ireland on Sunday but equally aware that a sense of entitlement gets you nowhere in international rugby.

The 26-year-old has edged out Jamie George on form this season, much like George was the superior hooker when Dylan Hartley was Eddie Jones’ preferred choice at No2.

Yet even though Cowan-Dickie has started 19 of his 22 tests on the bench, he insists he is not in a hurry.

“For everyone it is your goal to start a Test match,” the Exeter Chiefs hooker said. “If I start, then absolutely brilliant, I have always wanted to. If I am on the bench, I know what my role will be.

“Jamie is starting now and he has definitely earned his start. Some may say he probably should have started earlier (instead of Hartley) but it is not for the players to decide. Jamie’s patience is a good lesson for me.”

Cowan-Dickie only became a hooker in 2013, switching across the front row from prop. Two years later, he made his England debut.

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“It has been a long journey. One of my first games was before the 2015 World Cup and I literally could not throw the ball straight to save my life. Now it has definitely come on,” he said. “The first couple of years in the Premiership were not the best and it was definitely an area I needed to work on. Now I feel I have done that. I have gone from the bench at the club and now I am benching and playing games for England.

“For everyone it is your goal to start a Test match. If I start against Ireland, then absolutely brilliant, I have always wanted to. The finishers know their role – and we have definitely got a key role. It is about biding my time.”

About the author:

Garry Doyle

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