Luke Cowan-Dickie exit confirmed, signs huge contract - Ruck

Luke Cowan-Dickie exit confirmed, signs huge contract

England hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie will depart Exeter Chiefs for Montpellier. According to the Mail Online, he’s signed a massive contract post 2023 Rugby World Cup, where he will earn more than £300k *post tax* per year.

Exeter boss Rob Baxter lost the likes of Jonny Hill, Sam Skinner and Tom O’Flaherty last summer after being unable to match their wage offers elsewhere due to the reduced £5m salary cap all Premiership clubs are operating under this season.

Exeter Chiefs player Luke Cowan-Dickie during the warm up before Gallagher Premiership Match between Wasps and Exeter Chiefs at the Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry on October 16th – PHOTO: Steve Bond/PPAUK

The potential departure of Cowan-Dickie as one of five next summer means it could be the end of an era at Sandy Park.

In addition to this, the club is under financial pressure to repay government loans the club took out during the pandemic.

According to accounts up until 30 June 2021, the group that runs the club had total borrowings of £28.1m.

Those included a Barclays Covid-19 loan of £5m, a Sport England loan of £6.8m and a NatWest loan of £6.6m.

The club also owed £10m in a bond issue that helped to expand Sandy Park.

FOUR MORE Exeter Chiefs Stars set to depart:

#1. Sam Simmonds

The number 8 has already confirmed this will be his final season with the Chiefs as a move to Top 14 heavyweights Montpellier has already been agreed.

“I knew that that decision of playing abroad, you wouldn’t be able to be selected for England, but for me I felt like I’m focused on the here and now,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live. 

“I feel like I can still have such an effect in an England shirt, such an effect in an Exeter Chiefs shirt for the next 12 months now, and I think I’m at peace with that decision.

“There’s plenty of players that are going to be coming up behind me and I felt that it was the right time to make a decision for after the World Cup to pursue a new life in France, and for my family and for me to experience that because I have loved my time at Exeter, but I haven’t experienced anything outside of Devon,” he added.

“I feel it was the right decision at the right time and we’ll see how it goes.

“We’ve seen what’s happened recently with clubs unfortunately in England, so it’s a decision I’ve thought about a lot, but ultimately felt like I needed to make that decision.”