Dickinson up for the Challenge if Saints’ Heineken Cup dream dies

Sam Dickinson says Saints will take the Amlin Challenge Cup just as seriously as the Heineken Cup should they find themselves in it by the end of the coming weekend.


Northampton look likely to drop out of Europe’s premier club rugby competition, as they need to beat Castres on Friday night and hope results involving the likes of Saracens and Leinster go their way.

Saints, though, do look set to at least strut their stuff in the Amlin-sponsored competition, with an away quarter-final beckoning.

And Dickinson is adamant he and his team-mates would approach that with the same fervour as they have the tournament they are currently competing in.

“It would be taken on as a brand new challenge,” said the big No.8.

“It will be disappointing if we are out of the Heineken Cup, but we’ll take that just as seriously and that will be the next target to win.”

Should Saints miss out on the Heineken Cup quarter-finals, they can look back on defeats to Castres and Leinster will a feeling of regret.

But Dickinson says those losses have also yielded positives, with plenty of lessons being learned by the entire squad.

“We’ve lost twice and it’s not ideal,” he said.

“It’s a very tough group and you can’t take anything for granted, but at the same time I think everyone’s learned a lot from those losses.

“They’ve not been swept under the rug and hopefully that will push us forward as a squad.”