Settled squad can help Saints, says Dickson

Lee Dickson put pen to paper on a new contract ahead of the 2014/15 season © Getty Images

Rugby News Settled squad can help Saints, says Dickson

Lee Dickson says that having a settled squad at Franklin's Gardens is helping the players hit the ground running in pre-season this summer.

With training back in full swing at Franklin's Gardens and the start of the 2014/15 season just under a month away, the England scrum-half believes that the squad will be more prepared than ever for the new season.

With GJ Van Velze and Fa'atoina Autagavaia being the only departures from the Gardens at the end of last season, the Saints squad remains relatively unchanged with Joel Hodgson being the only external signing.

However a number of players, including the likes of Tom Wood, Luther Burrell, Ben Foden and Dickson himself, are going into the first year of new deals signed at the end of 2013, and more talented home-grown players are coming into the Senior Academy.

“It’s really important to have a settled squad like we have now,” the scrum-half said. “Everyone knows the game plan that we want to play, their jobs and more importantly their roles.

“Joel's come in and he's added something in training, fighting for his position like everyone else is. The beautiful thing about this squad is that everyone knows each other now, there's no introductions or getting to know how someone plays.

“Hopefully we'll be able to hit the ground running come the start of the season and be able to click straight away.”

Dickson also added that returning to training had the same exciting feeling as the first day of school.

“Everything has just left off from last season,” he commented. “Even though we came back two or three weeks later than the rest of the squad after England duties, it was the same banter in the changing room and the same work ethic in training as before we left.”

The Saints open their pre-season campaign at home against Rotherham on Saturday, August 16th, with a Gardens double-header against Leinster and Moseley on Saturday, August 23rd.

The Aviva Premiership campaign also opens at home against Gloucester on Friday, September 5th.

Tickets are on sale for all these matches, along with the upcoming Aviva Premiership clashes with Bath and Sale.

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