Youngs injury opens England Test door for Saints scrum-half Dickson

DIFFERING FORTUNES - Ben Youngs (left) and Lee Dickson
DIFFERING FORTUNES - Ben Youngs (left) and Lee Dickson

SAINTS scrum-half Lee Dickson could be set for a start in England’s third and final Test against South Africa after Ben Youngs was ruled out of the rest of the tour with a shoulder injury.

Youngs impressed by scoring two tries in the second Test loss to the Springboks, on Saturday but head coach Stuart Lancaster has confirmed he can play no further part in the series.

Dickson replaced the Leicester Tigers No.9 with six minutes left of the 36-27 defeat in Johannesburg and is now in pole position for a starting role in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

The Northampton ace will battle it out with Harlequins man Danny Care for a place in the line-up, with Dickson’s brother Karl replacing Youngs in the squad.

Lancaster said: “He (Youngs) has picked up a shoulder injury.

“He didn’t present it until the end of the game obviously but it was only when we got back and he was struggling to move it - he is out of the tour.

“From our point of view he was excellent for us in the second Test, he really played well and he is devastated.

“But opportunities present themselves for other players - Lee Dickson and Danny Care - and we have got Lee’s brother Karl winging in from Alicante.

“Karl was somewhere in Spain but we have managed to get him to Heathrow and he is on his way now.”

Karl Dickson, 29, will link up with the squad in time to come into consideration for tomorrow’s tour match against the Northern Barbarians in Potchefstroom.

He has been summoned just a day after Jonny May of Gloucester was called up to replace injured Harlequins wing George Lowe in the squad.

Bath’s Nick Abendanon last week arrived after injury to Quins full-back Mike Brown while London Irish flanker Jamie Gibson replaced London Wasps’ Joe Launchbury before the first Test.

Care, 25, has been waiting for the opportunity to resurrect his international career after sitting out the first two Test losses.

The Harlequins scrum-half was dropped for the RBS 6 Nations by Lancaster earlier this year after a series of off-field incidents.

He responded by finishing the domestic season well and then impressed in last week’s victory over the Southern Barbarians in Kimberley.

It was thought he might even have had an outside chance of making the replacements list for the second Test but Lancaster again started with Youngs with Lee Dickson on the bench.

Lancaster said: “It won’t be any disruption. Both Danny and Lee know the game plans.

“I didn’t need any get-out clause to make any selection decisions - it gives us an opportunity to look at Lee and Danny.”