England youngster Dingwall ready to make his mark at Saints

Fraser Dingwall is currently on England Under-20s duty (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Fraser Dingwall is currently on England Under-20s duty (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Saints supporters may not have heard much about Fraser Dingwall as yet.

But if the hype around the young centre is to be believed, it won’t be long before they see the 18-year-old in action for the first team.

Dingwall has been delivering for England Under-20s in the Six Nations of late, helping his country to claim wins against Italy and Wales.

He started at outside centre in both of those matches, earning plaudits for his performances.

Dingwall is highly rated at Franklin’s Gardens, with the coaches confident he can be a key player for Saints in the future.

And the Cambridge-born ace admits the positive feedback is really helping to boost his belief as he continues in his first year as a Senior Academy player.

“When you get positive feedback from coaches it definitely helps with confidence and it keeps you ticking over,” Dingwall said.

“You keep working hard and you don’t feel you are just left there on your own.

“It is really helpful to get good feedback.”

Dingwall started life at Saints at Under-13 level, progressing through the Junior Academy before signing a Senior Academy deal last July.

He has caught the eye of the England coaches, so much so that he was propelled into the Under-20 squad this year, alongside club-mates James Grayson, Toby Trinder and Ehren Painter.

Dingwall is yet to make his debut for the Saints first team, but he is targeting that first appearance in the very near future.

“I’m hoping to break through this year or next year, maybe in the Anglo-Welsh Cup, and then get more game time for the Wanderers,” said Dingwall, who is on the bench for this weekend's game against Scotland.

“I want to keep pushing on and I’ve got the England Under-20s stuff to focus on.

“I just want to keep getting better.”

So what kind of player is Dingwall?

“I play in the centre and I don’t really have a preference whether it’s 12 or 13,” he said.

“If I’m playing at 12, I’m more of a distributing 12, but then at 13 I try to really lead the defence and aid that through decision-making and a lot of chat.

“I don’t really have a preference on inside or outside, it depends where the coaches want to put me.”

If Dingwall wants to learn from a real defensive leader at 13, he knows he need look no further than Saints team-mate Rob Horne.

The Australia centre is enjoying a strong first season in the black, green and gold.

And Dingwall said: “There are some really good players here in my position, especially Rob Horne, who has got a lot of experience for the Wallabies.

“He’s someone I can really learn from and that’s the main thing for me.

“I’m only in my first year as a Senior Academy player and you’ve got a lot of players ahead of you so the time you have, you just want to learn as much as possible and absorb knowledge from the players around you.

“I can talk to Rob whenever I want and show him clips or go to see the coaches with clips if I wanted to.”

Dingwall was a Sale Sharks fan when he was younger, but quickly switched his allegiance to Saints.

He explained: “My dad lived up in Manchester for a bit and we were big Sale fans because I was I fan of Jason Robinson when I was younger.

“Then we came down here and we came to Northampton-Sale games and became fans of Saints.

“Then I went through the whole Academy and it’s nice to play for the team you support.”