Cowan-Dickie: I’ve done all I can for Test spot

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Luke Cowan-Dickie v Stormers

Luke Cowan-Dickie believes he has done all he can in his bid for a Test place but whether he’s selected or not, the hooker is only concerned with winning the series.

The England No.2 produced a man-of-the-match performance for The British & Irish Lions as the tourists ran in seven tries to beat DHL Stormers 49-3 at Cape Town Stadium.

Cowan-Dickie was among the scorers in the final audition before the opening Test match against the Springboks, also contributing eight carries in his 49 minutes on the field.

But the Exeter Chiefs man was quick to play down the hype around his own performance, he was happy to put his best foot forward and helped to tourists secure another Tour win.

“It would be amazing to get a Test under my belt,” the 28-year-old.

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“But for me it’s about winning the Test series so the coach is going to pick the best 23 and if I’m not involved in that as long as we go out and do the job and win I’ll be just as happy.

“I’ve done what I could have done obviously from the previous games and against the Stormers to put my foot forward but if it’s not right then I’ll just take it on the chin.

“I prep to play every game pretty much the same, whether it’s for club, England or the Lions. I want to put my best foot forward and try and play my best rugby most games.

Luke Cowan-Dickie comes up

“Sometimes you get there, sometimes you don’t and I think I did put a foot closer forward to possibly get in the 23 but if I don’t get in the 23 all I want is for the boys to win.

“It was exciting, it was good to get the win but there were 23 other guys who played tonight who were outstanding so I’m just excited to see what next week brings.”

The Lions trailed early on against the Stormers to a Tim Swiel penalty before tries from Adam Beard, Cowan-Dickie and Jonny Hill put the tourists 21-3 ahead at the break.

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Gatland’s men then stepped on the gas after the interval with four more tries but despite the final scoreline, Cowan-Dickie stressed that the tourists are still not at full tilt yet.

“It was a good tough battle, we kept quite a lot of the ball in the forwards and to only concede three points is a step forward for the boys but we still have things to work on,” he said.

“There are loads of things we can improve upon. We haven’t been together too long, there have been different combinations in the pack the last two weeks.

“It’s really just moulding together well, lineout-wise they got quite a bit of joy out of sacking us so we’ll have to work on that and then scrum time we always work on similar stuff.

“It’s just about gluing together, getting the last little bits right because I think we’ve gone well so far and I’m just looking forward to next week. There are still things to work on.”

Luke Cowan-Dickie

Cowan-Dickie was a late arrival to the Lions camp due to being involved in the Premiership final with Chiefs but he is relishing every moment of his first Lions experience.

“It’s been incredible. It’s the thing you’ve wanted to do since you were younger – first international and then obviously when the Lions came around and I got selected it was massive,” he said.

“I’ve loved every minute of it, the boys have been really good. I think we’ve knitted really well as a team and just to get some game time really, I didn’t have the most game time at the start.

“I obviously came in a bit late and just to get another start was massive for me and I’m just trying to play as many minutes as I can in the Tour and see where it goes.

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“I think I’ve been playing reasonably okay and I’ve been selected for this so obviously Gats has seen something in me before, so I think it’s been going well for me so far.

“Main thing for me is the set-piece. I think the set-piece has been going well, my lineout has been going well and wherever else I can help out the team I will.

“Competition is always good for training, you’re improving each day when you’ve got competition. On the training field, we try to train the best we can and put our best foot forward.

“When it comes to the team being picked, you do whatever you can to help that guy prepare for the game and I’ve had that with Jamie [George] for years now and the same for the other two.”

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