Although ruled out of the Rugby World Cup, the move will provide Cowan-Dickie with an opportunity to extend his Test career. Gallagher Premiership finalists Sale are set to announce that they have secured the services of the 30-year-old hooker for the upcoming season, effectively offering him a fresh start after a switch to Top 14 giants Montpellier in France failed.
Cowan-Dickie’s much vaunted move to the south of France was marred by a series of missed medical appointments, but it was the French rugby’s stricter regulations concerning neck injuries which ultimately led to the cancellation of the deal.
The former Exeter Chiefs forward was then released from the England squad by coach Steve Borthwick last week, with persistent neck and shoulder issues cited as the cause. Despite this setback, Borthwick expressed his confidence in Cowan-Dickie’s abilities and highlighted his importance to English rugby.
“One thing I’m confident of is that he’ll be a big part of English rugby going forward,” said Borthwick.
The opportunity to join Alex Sanderson’s Sale Sharks presents the dynamic frontrower with a chance to prove his fitness and reclaim his place in the national setup. A British & Irish Lion in 2021, he’s been a key figure in England’s success in recent years.
Known for his physicality, agility, and outstanding set-piece skills, his absence from the World Cup was undoubtedly a blow for Borthwick, but with this move to Sale Sharks, Cowan-Dickie will remain eligible for selection once he returns to fitness. He will join fellow former Exeter players Tom O’Flaherty and England lock Jonny Hill in making the switch to the northern club.