New man Pisi can fill Ashton’s shoes for Saints

KEY MAN - new Saints signing Ken Pisi
KEY MAN - new Saints signing Ken Pisi

LEE DICKSON says Ken Pisi will do a ‘massive job’ for Saints – and has tipped the Samoan to fill the void left by Chris Ashton’s departure.

Pisi has moved to Northampton from ITM Cup side North Harbour, joining brother George at Franklin’s Gardens.

The utility back has a preference for playing on the wing and that could come in handy when it comes to replacing Ashton, who has moved to Saracens.

Dickson has seen enough of the new boy in training to believe he can make a big impact in the Premiership this season.

And the scrum-half says it is now time to see what the Samoa international can do as Saints start life without Ashton.

“Chris was a really good friend of mine,” said Dickson. “You never want to lose players like Chris but that’s rugby and he’s moved on now.

“We’re into a new era at Saints and we’re really looking forward to it.

“Ken will come in and do a massive job for us. He’s an international player and he’ll work hard for the team.

“It’s great to have Ken about and hopefully he’ll have as good a season as George did last year.”

Dickson says he was ‘itching to come back’ and join Saints’ pre-season training after a three-week break following England’s summer tour of South Africa.

The 27-year-old has been back in the swing of things for a couple of weeks now and he believes the players are looking sharp ahead of the first friendly clash, against Zebre in Millau on August 10.

“The new boys have been really good, training’s been really good,” said Dickson. “The last six weeks the boys have been at the grind and there’s plenty of positives coming out of it.

“We’ve trained really hard, all the other lads (England players) have been itching to come back. Hopefully we’ve added something to training and this week it’s starting to show.

“Now we’ve got the ball in our hands the fitness levels are starting to show.”