LEE DICKSON wants to make himself indispensable for England ahead of the autumn internationals.
The Saints scrum-half has revealed his frustration at not starting a game during the summer tour of South Africa.
And he is now aiming to make his mark for his club to show Stuart Lancaster he should be the man to get the England No.9 jersey come November 10 when Fiji visit Twickenham.
Ben Youngs and Danny Care were both preferred ahead of Dickson against the Springboks, with the former starting the first two Tests and the latter the last.
The Saints man got time off the bench in each of the three games, but he wants more when the southern hemisphere sides come calling later this year.
“It was disappointing but I had a good chat with Stuart (Lancaster) and he told me the reasonings and they weren’t a reason that I wasn’t playing well, it was just that they’d wanted to look at Danny,” said Dickson.
“I did well in the Six Nations, played well and he was really happy with me so I was really happy with that.
“The type of person I am I just get on with it, keep training hard and when it comes round to these autumn internationals... the first thing for me is getting the starting jersey against Gloucester and then playing well week in, week out and hopefully I’ll pick myself come autumn internationals.
“You want to play for your country but the bread and butter is at your club and I want to win something for Northampton Saints. And then hopefully I’ll get into the England setup and go from there.”
Dickson was the main man for the Six Nations and had looked set to line-up in the final Test against the Springboks after Youngs went home injured, but Care was given the nod.
It was a big disappointment for Dickson and the 27-year-old says it will make him work even harder as he aims to become first choice for the Red Rose.
“I’m loving every minute playing for England,” said Dickson, who has seven international caps to his name. “It’s been my dream from when I started playing rugby.
“The Six Nations was awesome for me. I stuck at what I wanted to do. I got the starting shirt.
“The summer was a good experience. It was a bit frustrating but I played in every Test which is always nice.
“What I’ve got to do now is start well at Saints, get the starting jersey and then leading into the autumn internationals all I can do is play well, put my hand up and hopefully I’ll get that starting jersey for the autumn internationals.”