Mallinder salutes departing Saints scrum-half Dickson

Lee Dickson will be leaving Saints this summer (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Lee Dickson will be leaving Saints this summer (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Jim Mallinder has hailed Lee Dickson for the ‘absolutely tremendous’ contribution the departing scrum-half has made to Saints.

Dickson’s contract at Franklin’s Gardens ends this summer, meaning his nine-year stay at Saints will come to an end.

The 31-year-old has made 248 appearances for the club since joining from Newcastle Falcons in the summer of 2008.

He has also racked up 18 England caps and was made Saints captain at the beginning of last season before Tom Wood took over at the start of this campaign.

And Mallinder has nothing but praise for a player who has helped Saints to win the Aviva Premiership, Anglo-Welsh Cup and two Challenge Cups during his time at the Gardens.

“It’s sad (that he’s leaving) because Lee Dickson has been absolutely tremendous for us here at the club,” Mallinder said.

“Lee has been a fantastic player.

“He came here and we knew him when he was playing England Under 20s. He came along and played alongside Ben Foden in that sort of era.

“He’s been a tremendous player and has contributed on and off the field.

“He’s been a massive part of our success in winning trophies and being a good team.

“I know from talking to him that he wants to finish the season well with us and I’m looking forward to his contribution.

And Mallinder added: “Things change all the time, and that’s players and coaches.

“Nobody lasts for ever and you do move on.

“I wish Lee all the best in his remaining career.”

Saints chose not to keep Dickson, with the club having this week added South Africa scrum-half Cobus Reinach to their ranks for next season.

Reinach will compete with countryman Nic Groom, Tom Kessell, who penned a new deal last week, and England Under 20s ace Alex Mitchell.

And Mallinder is delighted to have captured the 27-year-old from Super Rugby side the Sharks.

“He’s a real quality player,” Mallinder said. “Half-back is a real key position, at nine and 10.

“We’ve got some quality players in that position, but he’s tough, he’s physical, very, very quick and I think he’ll do well in the Premiership.”