Cowan made his All Black debut in 2004 and has become amongst the first-choice halfbacks since 2008.
In 2011 he was again called into the All Blacks squad, on the back of another impressive season for the Highlanders.
He was called into the Highlanders in 2003 as an injury replacement but his fulltime Super Rugby call-up was just a matter of time. He was regarded as one of the most promising halfbacks in New Zealand, as evidenced by his selection in the national Under 19 team in 2001 and the New Zealand Colts in 2002 and 2003.
He was called into the All Blacks for the 2004 end-of-year tour to Europe and debuted as a reserve against Italy on the first Test of the tour.
Hailing from Invercargill, Cowan is a big strong halfback with an eye for the gap around rucks and mauls. A scrappy, physical player, a clever kicker and strong runner on the burst, Cowan isn’t one to back down from any opponent.
13/11/04 v Italy at Rome
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2000 v Otago
93 (18t, 1dg)
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2003 v Cats
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• Is the third All Blacks halfback with connections to the small central Southland town of Mataura – before him were Lindsay Townsend (1955) and Justin Marshall (1995 - 2005).
• Brought up 50 games for Southland in 2004, at the age of just 22.
• A younger brother, Scott, played for New Zealand Schools and New Zealand Under 19 as well as Southland.