This baptism of fire clearly helped the 30-year-old settle at Gloucester Rugby and he hasn't looked back, starting the next three games to help the club to the heady heights of third.
The other contributing factor to Cowan's fast start has been the form of half-back partner Burns, whose form led to him being named Aviva Premiership Rugby player of the month for October, as well as earning him an England spot.
Burns is now in line to make his senior England debut against New Zealand, the country Cowan helped to lift the World Cup just 12 months ago.
And although Cowan is Gloucester through and through, it doesn't mean he will be giving Burns any advice on All Black fly-half Dan Carter.
"I am the first to say that rugby is not just about one person and everyone in the squad plays their part but of course Freddie has been great," he said.
"He has got the right skills and his performances have been rewarded and I would like to see him get some game time for England on Saturday.
"But he is taking on my boys so I am not about to be going and giving him any tips, he is on his own in that department.
"And it is not just playing with Freddie that has helped me settle in, everyone of the boys have been great and very welcoming.
"It is a great environment to be a part of and obviously winning games helps that but Gloucester is a great rugby town and a fantastic place to be at the moment - I am very happy."
After last season's poor finish to the campaign Gloucester have well and truly put those woes behind them as they establish themselves as serious contenders for a semi-final spot.
They have been doing so with an exciting brand of rugby but Cowan believes the 29-3 victory over Sale Sharks last time out showed how dangerous they can be - despite crossing the tryline just once.
"I think a few of the boys were a bit unhappy that they didn't get into the Sale game a bit more but it is always important to get the win in conditions like that," he added.
"And I think that it showed just how dangerous we can be because we are prepared to change our game to get results.
"The coaching staff and the boys are all pushing for the same thing here and that is to win games, and we are happy to do that any way we can."
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