It was time for a change: Luke Cowan-Dickie completes move to Sale from Exeter

It was time for a change: Luke Cowan-Dickie completes move to Sale from Exeter

Luke Cowan-Dickie says he was ready for change after completing his move from Exeter to Sale.

The 30-year-old England and British and Irish Lions hooker will join up with the Sharks immediately after injury ruled him out of this autumn’s World Cup.

“I’ve been at the same club for 13 years and I felt it was time for a change,” Cowan-Dickie told the official Sale website.

“This is the perfect move for me and I can’t wait to get started.

“I know Jonny (Hill) and Tom (O’Flaherty) from Exeter and they have raved about this club since they came up here.

“They have told me how good the environment, the lads and the coaching team are so it was an easy decision.

“It’s been a long journey trying to get fit and not knowing where I’d be playing but I can already see myself being here for a long time.

“This team reached the (Gallagher Premiership) final last year and speaking to the boys here, they all want to go one better.

“I want to win and I’m confident we can have a successful year.”

Cowan-Dickie made his England debut in 2015 and has gone on to win 41 caps for his country, while representing the Lions on their 2021 tour of South Africa.

He scored 41 tries in 165 appearances for Exeter and had been due to join Top 14 club Montpellier this summer.

But reports from France suggested the deal broke down on medical grounds as Cowan-Dickie worked his way back from ankle surgery.

Sharks director of rugby Alex Sanderson said: “Luke is a fantastic player and we feel really fortunate and happy to have secured him for the foreseeable future.

Sale Sharks v Saracens – Gallagher Premiership – AJ Bell Stadium
Sale Sharks head coach Alex Sanderson believes the arrival of Luke Cowan-Dickie is “really exciting” for last season’s Gallagher Premiership finalists (Nigel French/PA)

“Already it feels like a good match for him and for us, with the type of team we want to be on and off the pitch.

“To be able to bring in an England international and a British and Irish Lion to a squad that’s already as good as this one is really exciting.

“We’re all looking forward to working with someone who’ll bring new ideas. Last year was brilliant but we are always looking to improve.

“The worst thing would be to say ‘nothing changes’ because we did well last year. We have to keep improving and a big part of that is bringing in top quality players like Luke.”