Habana has high praise for Cowan-Dickie
By Mark Stevens
South African rugby legend Bryan Habana has singled out Exeter Chiefs hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie as the man to watch ahead of today’s opening test against the British & Irish Lions in Cape Town.
Cowan-Dickie is one of four Chiefs players in Warren Gatland’s squad for the summer tour - and he will line-up alongside club-mate Stuart Hogg against the Springboks in the first of three successive Test matches.
In what has been a season to remember for the 28-year-old Cornishman, the hooker has been one of the stand-out performers so far for Gatland’s squad who have been readying themselves for the challenge of tackling the world champions in their own back yard.
Habana, who made 124 appearances for the Springboks during a distinguished career, has been part of Sky Sports team of pundits reviewing the current season and has been impressed with the all-round displays of the Exeter forward.
“For me, someone that has come in under the radar is Luke Cowan-Dickie,” says Habana. “I think his unsung work in terms of ball-carrying ability, his precision at the line-out, 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.”