The Saints head to Sandy Park to face Exeter having used over 40 players en route to Sunday’s showcase. And with all of them having contributed towards a 100 percent winning record thus far Dickens has acknowledged that there will be a lot of disappointed men when the 23-man squad is announced on Friday.
“It’s been tough, but it’s tough every week,” he said. “We’ve got quality players throughout, but the really pleasing thing is that it’s been a squad effort this year.
“We’ve lost boys to the internationals, and it’s brilliant that they go away and represent their country. But that provides opportunity for fringe and young players, and it’s been brilliant to see those boys step up and represent the first team”
Sunday is the Saints’ third LV= Cup final in five years, with 2014 the seventh year in a row in which the team has reached the final of one competition or another. But while Dickens says that it is imperative to approach the game in the same way as each and every week, the players also have to be prepared to raise their game against a tough Chiefs outfit.
“We’re treating it as a normal game, going through the processes that we do every week,” Dickens added. “But you also have the intensity of it being a final, so I’m sure the boys will rise to that during the match.
“It is a must-win game, but we concentrate on ourselves and if we do that we’ll put ourselves in the best possible decision to get the result that we desire.”
You can hear the full interview with Alan Dickens in this week’s podcast, which will be available to download for free on any device on SoundCloud this Friday afternoon.