Saints making it easy for Dingwall to develop
Fraser Dingwall says the players and coaches at Saints make it easy for him to continue his impressive development.
And the 22-year-old is now desperate to help deliver a top-four spot this season.
Dingwall has become a key figure at centre for Saints, playing 14 times during the current campaign, scoring two tries in the process.
He continues to get better, game by game.
And when asked about his personal progression, Dingwall said: "I feel I am progressing each time I play.
“I just try to take opportunities when they come and keep developing.
“I don’t want to plateau at any point, I want to keep getting better at all areas of the game - and that’s pretty easy with the players and coaches that I’ve got around me here at Saints.”
One thing that is evident when watching Dingwall is that he has added more power to his game since emerging from the Saints Academy.
He said: "I definitely wanted to put on more size and I still need to do a bit more in terms of physical work just to raise strength and power.
"In terms of size development I've ticked off one of those goals a little bit.
"There's definitely a fine-tuning element where you find a balance of what works for you.
"There's no silver bullet that means heavier is better, and you look at some of the best players in the world and they're really light or really small.
"It's about finding that balance where you can keep your speed but also be as strong as possible."
Dingwall and his Saints team-mates are fresh and firing ahead of Saturday's game against Gloucester as they had last weekend off due to not being in European action.
And he added: "I've had a very nice week - it's been nice to have a break after so many games in a row.
"All the boys appreciated a week off to fix a few knocks and hopefully be fresh come Saturday.
"It feels like we can really target these games and we know they are all big for us now.
“We’re pushing for that top-four spot and each game is essentially knock-out rugby for us because we’ve got to catch the teams above us and we’re waiting for them to slip up.
“We’re targeting a block of games at a time, starting with Gloucester on Saturday.
“A year ago, when we were struggling for form after the first lockdown and then us not starting the next season so well, to get ourselves in this position is really pleasing.
“We’re really keen to make it all count.”
When you look at the potential team Gloucester can put out this weekend, it is a real surprise to see them sitting down in 10th in the table.
They possess big backline threats such as Jonny May and Louis Rees-Zammit, while their pack isn’t bad either, with the likes of Ed Slater and Jack Singleton in the mix.
And Dingwall said: “They’ve got a very dangerous backline as a whole and it’s something we’re definitely taking into consideration.
“Hopefully we can limit the opportunities they have, but we’re also very threatening so they might be saying the same thing about us.”
Dingwall has had more than one job this week as he was named Saints' ambassador for Restart Rugby weekend.
This weekend's fixture has been dedicated to raising awareness about players' mental health and alongside Premiership Rugby and every other Gallagher Premiership Rugby club, Saints are getting behind the Restart charity to raise funds to support their 24/7 confidential counselling service.
Dingwall explained: "I'm the Restart round ambassador for Northampton Saints for this weekend, and for those who don't know, it's linked to Restart Rugby, which is a charity that supports players during and after their careers.
"There's a massive emphasis this year on players' mental health and that's been largely expressed by Tom Stephenson, who is doing the five marathons in five days and came about his struggles.
"They have previously helped people with career injuries and I believe they helped Rob Horne when he had his.
"It's a charity that's very close to rugby players and something we can encourage people to get behind massively.
"It's my turn to be involved this year and it's something I support massively.
"I've had friends who have gone through mental health issues and playing with Stevo, it's an easy decision to get behind it.
"There's a 5k run competition going around this week and we'll see which supporters in the league can raise the most money."
For more information about Restart Rugby, click here.