Bryan Habana reckons the Springboks must face Lions hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie head-on, describing him as the “heartbeat of the pack”.
Cowan-Dickie will start at hooker against South Africa in the first test, in what will be the Englishman’s first cap for the British and Irish Lions.
Former Springboks winger Bryan Habana was speaking to the Daily Mail and underlined the importance of the Exeter Chiefs man to the Lions’ hopes in Cape Town.
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Bryan Habana on Luke Cowan-Dickie.
“For me, someone that has come in under the radar is Luke Cowan-Dickie,” Habana said.
“I think his unsung work in terms of ball-carrying ability, his precision at the lineout, his ability to get over the ball and be a threat at the breakdown and gave the Lions a lot positivity on Saturday.
“He knows how to score tries which is something again that the Lions will lead on. It almost feels like he’s basically the heartbeat of that pack.
“He doesn’t take a step back and is physically imposing. I think the Springboks will need to meet fire with fire.”
Luke Cowan-Dickie’s performances on tour.
Cowan-Dickie was called up to Warren Gatland’s Lions squad after a number of impressive performances in the Six Nations, in which he started ahead of fellow Lions hooker Jamie George in three games.
The Englishman made his first appearance for the Lions off the bench against the Johannesburg-based Lions and started for the touring side for the first time four days later against the Sharks.
The Exeter hooker won the man of the match award against the Stormers last Saturday, which likely went a long way in securing him a place in the starting team for today’s test against the Springboks.
Cowan-Dickie has been selected to start ahead of more experienced Lions hookers Jamie George and Ken Owens, but no one can question that he is well-deserving of the number two jersey.