LEE DICKSON expects to see Saints ‘start to gel’ against Heineken Cup holders Leinster this weekend.
Dickson travelled with the squad to France last week but was not involved in the 30-28 defeat to Zebre at Millau.
The England scrum-half should get some game time against the Irish giants at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday as Saints boss Jim Mallinder tries out more combinations.
And Dickson expects his side to start to show big improvements ahead of the Premiership kick-off at Gloucester on September 1.
“It is about getting stuff done that we need to get done,” he said. “Last week we had 35 players playing so we couldn’t really get any continuity.
“That’s what pre-season is about, it’s about trying new combinations, trying new patterns and hopefully that will show this weekend that things are starting to gel going into the Edinburgh game (next Friday).
Dickson was restricted to the role of tackle bag carrier in France last Friday as he watched Saints ship two late tries to lose out.
He admits he’d loved to have been out there to help his side and he is now desperate to get back on the pitch and feel the force of the Gardens faithful this weekend.
“I’d rather have played last week but it was one of things, travelling over late, but hopefully I’ll get my opportunity this weekend to get back on the pitch after coming back from South Africa,” said Dickson.
“The crowd here are immense. You love running out in front of that. For a pre-season game, getting 11,500 shows how much the fans think of us and it’s brilliant to come out and see the support.
“You always give them a bit of time after the game because that’s what this club is about.”