Luke Cowan-Dickie will take no part in England’s autumn Tests, as Sportsmail understands he is set to be ruled out for two months.
The Exeter hooker, 28, limped off with an ankle problem in the second half of the Chiefs’ Premiership win over Wasps on Saturday but was picked by Eddie Jones in his national squad on Monday.
However Sportsmail has learned that a scan has confirmed Cowan-Dickie’s injury to be serious and will likely see him out until December – a hammer blow for the player, his club and country.
Luke Cowan-Dickie has been ruled out of the autumn Tests with an ankle injury
England now have no senior hooker available for their Tests against Tonga, Australia and South Africa next month.
Uncapped Nic Dolly, from Leicester, and Newcastle’s Jamie Blamire, who won two caps against USA and Canada last summer, are the only remaining options after Saracens’ Jamie George was a shock omission from Jones’ England squad.
Cowan-Dickie has been the coming man in England’s pack, having leap-frogged George in the pecking order at hooker earlier this year during the Six Nations.
The Exeter hooker suffered an ankle problem that will keep him out until December
He then featured in all three Lions Tests in South Africa last summer with George on tour but left out of the match-day 23.
After the Wasps game on Saturday Exeter head coach Ali Hepher said of Cowan-Dickie’s blow: ‘It’s never good to see Luke coming off because he’s as tough as they come.’
Exeter will hope he can return for their European Cup matches against Montpellier and Glasgow before Christmas.
Eddie Jones left Jamie George out of his England squad so this comes as a huge blow