Jack Nowell among Exeter trio tipped to be fit for England tour

Exeter boss Rob Baxter has provided Eddie Jones with a triple boost ahead of England’s tour to Australia.

Baxter confirmed that Jack Nowell, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Jonny Hill should all be available for selection ahead of the three-Test trip.

Hooker Cowan-Dickie suffered a knee injury during England’s Guinness Six Nations victory over Wales in February, while wing Nowell broke his arm in the tournament finale against France just over 10 weeks ago.

Lock Hill, who will join Exeter’s Gallagher Premiership rivals Sale next season, has not played since early January due to a stress fracture of his lower leg.

Nowell could return in Exeter’s final game of the campaign against defending Premiership champions Harlequins on Saturday.

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And while Cowan-Dickie and Hill will not be available for Quins’ Sandy Park visit, Baxter has confirmed their recovery schedules remain on course, which will be firmly noted by England head coach Jones.

“Jack is in contention to play this week,” Baxter said. “And Luke Cowan-Dickie and Jonny Hill should be in contention for the tour.”

England head Down Under later this month, with Tests against the Wallabies taking place in Perth on July 2, Brisbane seven days later and Sydney on July 16.

Exeter, meanwhile, have missed out on a Premiership play-off place for the first time since 2015.

They contested the last six Premiership finals at Twickenham, winning two, and while Heineken Champions Cup qualification for next season has been secured, their title hopes are over.

“It’s disappointing,” Baxter added. “You want to be playing in the big games, but at the end of the day it is what it is. We all need to take our element of responsibility. There are still a lot of positives about a lot of things.

“I am a huge believer that the league table doesn’t lie. There aren’t many lucky results.

“Have we got the playing ability and the squad to be in the top four and challenge any of the top four? 100 per cent, yes.

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“I think the most important thing right here and now is just to deal with where are we now.

“There is no reason why our positioning right now should massively affect where we can end up next season or the following season.”

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