England: Exeter Chiefs trio set to be fit for tour to Australia

David Skippers

England have received some good news from Exeter Chiefs after the Devon-based club’s director of rugby, Rob Baxter, confirmed that the injured trio of Jack Nowell, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Jonny Hill should all be fit to travel to Australia.

Cowan-Dickie (hooker) suffered a knee injury while Nowell (wing) broke his arm in the Six Nations Tests against Wales and France respectively earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Hill (lock), who is set to move to Sale Sharks at the end of the current Premiership campaign, has been sidelined since January with a lower leg stress fracture.

Nowell on the verge of return

Nowell is set to return to action in the Chiefs‘ last league match against Harlequins at Sandy Park on Saturday. And although Cowan-Dickie and Hill will not feature in that encounter, Baxter said they are on course to make full recoveries from their injuries.

“Jack is in contention to play this week,” said Baxter.

“And Luke Cowan-Dickie and Jonny Hill should be in contention for the tour.”

England are set to face the Wallabies in three Tests in Australia with the first match taking place in Perth on July 2, before they head to Brisbane for the second encounter on July 9 and the final fixture takes place in Sydney on July 16.

Saturday’s clash with Quins will be Exeter’s final match of the season. They are currently seventh on the table and out of the running for a semi-final spot – the first time time they haven’t advanced to the Premiership play-offs since 2015.

“It’s disappointing,” Baxter added. “You want to be playing in the big games, but at the end of the day it is what it is.

“We all need to take our element of responsibility. There are still a lot of positives about a lot of things.

“I am a huge believer that the league table doesn’t lie. There aren’t many lucky results.

“Have we got the playing ability and the squad to be in the top four and challenge any of the top four? 100 per cent, yes.

“I think the most important thing right here and now is just to deal with where are we now.

“There is no reason why our positioning right now should massively affect where we can end up next season or the following season.”

READ MORE: Robbie Deans: Former Wallaby coach warns England of resurgent Australia


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