Luke Cowan-Dickie: Exeter Chiefs hooker aims for England return

By Brent PilnickBBC Sport
Luke Cowan-Dickie
Luke Cowan-Dickie won his first senior England cap against France in August

Exeter Chiefs hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie hopes to force his way back into the England squad.

The 22-year-old was one of the last players to miss out on a place in Stuart Lancaster's World Cup squad after winning his first cap against France in August.

"I'm on the cusp now, I'm there or thereabouts," said Cowan-Dickie.

"I think just a little more push this year, and hopefully I can make it more of a regular thing," he told BBC Sport.

Cowan-Dickie has played just 24 Premiership games and only featured twice in the European Cup having come up through Exeter's youth system.

"If I was more experienced, it might have gone my way," said the Cornwall-born forward.

"But I've got the experience and I'm happy about it. I got to see the England coaches and be with them on a one-on-one basis, so I can't ask for any more. Hopefully I've put myself in good stead for the future.

"I've got some key things to work on - obviously the line-out and my set-piece stuff - so hopefully I'll cement that down now and you never know."

Luke Cowan-Dickie
Made his Exeter debut in 2011 in a European Challenge Cup match against Cavalieri Prato aged 18
Spent time on dual-registration at Plymouth Albion in the Championship
Won Under-20 World Cup with England in 2013

But Cowan-Dickie is aware that he must first get a regular starting place at Exeter if he is to keep himself in the thoughts of the England coaches.

"The competition here is good," he continued. "Jack Yeandle's still here, Shaun Malton's come up and he performed well at the weekend, so it's good for me because it's pushing me harder.

"Hopefully when it comes to the first couple of games I'll get a bit of time in there and get a bit more Premiership time and bit more experience.

"In the Champions Cup, I think we could put a couple of different sides out and we'll do well. The experience we've got is good and I just hope I get a shot in a few of the big Champions Cup games and the big Premiership games."