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Dingwall: Captaining Saints was very special

Centre Fraser Dingwall admits he was ‘very proud’ to captain Northampton Saints, after leading the team to a 29-13 victory over Worcester Warriors on Saturday. 

Making his 50th Premiership and 69th Saints appearance at Sixways, Dingwall was handed the captain’s armband for the first time in his Northampton career last weekend, with the centre leading out the Club he has been a part of since the age of 14. 

Now 22 years old, Dingwall is no stranger to captaincy, having led England Under-20s in 2019; and Dingwall was delighted to make a childhood dream a reality as he led out his boyhood club. 

“It was a very cool week to be honest,” he said. “I’m very grateful to Boydy for giving me the opportunity. 

“It was obviously a very proud day for me and my family; I’ve supported this Club since I was very little, so I was hugely pleased.”

Fraser Dingwall

“I found out on the Thursday before the game, so it was actually quite late in the week. I sent a message to my parents pretty much straight away and they were very happy as you can imagine. 

“Being captain didn’t change a huge amount really and I wouldn’t want it to. I feel like I am a leader during the week typically anyway and I try to be a voice within the team and give direction.

“I just had to be a bit more vocal around the summarising stuff and around the key points of what we were going after against Worcester. 

“But in terms of the on-field stuff it didn’t change too much at all to be honest.

Dingwall added: “I did get to jump in and speak to the referee a bit more and that’s something I’m learning from the other leaders around me. 

Alex Waller has obviously captained this Club for a long time, Tom Wood has captained this Club for a long time and then Biggsy [Dan Biggar] who’s about to captain Wales. I’m not short of people around me to help out.

“I’d love to captain again, I’d love to be captain every game. I’d love to take over from Lewis [Ludlam] one day but I’m not sure he’d be too happy about that.”

And though the centre was able to lead Northampton to a bonus-point victory over Worcester, Dingwall said Saints were frustrated with their second half performance. 

“It was weird game really because in the first half I thought we controlled it really well,“ Dingwall said. ”And with the wind against us, we actually put together a really good calm, controlling 40 minutes. We battled hard when they had the ball for long periods and then picked up tries and took our opportunities.

“But that second half was just frustrating. It was just poor by our standards in terms of letting them back into the games too easily and then when we had the ball, we weren’t keeping hold of it for long periods of time.

“It came down to a maul try and digging out the win when really it could have been quite a punishing win in our eyes.”

But with the prospect of an East Midlands Derby clash on the horizon after a bye weekend, the centre knows the side will need to stay switched on if they are to tackle table-toppers Leicester Tigers. 

He said: “We’ve got a week off now which is nice for us. Getting the five points helps a lot, it means the guys can go away and relax a bit and have their minds at ease rather than thinking about the result that got away. 

“And then it’s Leicester. We don’t need to speak too much about other than what happened last time out when we were at home. Obviously, it’s a Derby, it’s easy to get up for that.”

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