Six Nations: England’s Luke Cowan-Dickie trades gaming for leadership role

Dylan Coetzee

England hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie has decided to spend less time gaming as part of his shift into the national side’s leadership group for the Six Nations.

Skipper Owen Farrell will miss the competition after having ankle surgery leaving Courtney Lawes as the obvious choice to lead England against Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Captain crisis

However, Lawes may not be fit to play after suffering a concussion with Northampton Saints in January meaning the captain’s armband may be handed to one of the vice-captains in Cowan-Dickie, Ellis Genge and Tom Curry.

Cowan-Dickie may not be the first-choice to take over but the hooker’s rise in stature in the game have highlighted a maturity shown for both England and the British and Irish Lions urging him to focus on conditioning and reduce time spent gaming.

“I gamed constantly and that has calmed down. Obviously not my say so, more the missus!” said the 28-year-old, whose partner Chloe gave birth to their son during the 2020 Six Nations.

“When I go home now it’s a complete switch-off from rugby, which is nice.

“Beforehand maybe if the game didn’t go so well or training was pretty terrible, I wouldn’t go home and be angry about it all night. Now I’ve got no time to do that so that’s definitely helped.

“As a youngster you go out for a few beers after the games, obviously now with the family and because I’m getting older that’s pretty much stopped completely.

“I’m not quite teetotal but I go three to four months without drinking sometimes. If I’m going to have a drink or a blow out I’ll find the best time to do it.”

Cowan-Dickie has been appointed Exeter captain this season and he is still finding his feet with his additional responsibilities.

“The leadership role is something new for me. I have done a bit at the club but not much,” Cowan-Dickie said.

“A lot of people who know me, I don’t do a lot of talking. I sometimes talk when needed, but I normally leave that to quite a few of the guys in the squad.

“I normally lead on the training field. I’m quite over the top sometimes in training, celebrating and stuff.”

READ MORE: Veteran prop Joe Marler makes a welcome return to England squad