Captaincy does not guarantee Dickson starts, says Mallinder

Lee Dickson and Kahn Fotuali'i will continue to share the scrum-half workload at Saints (picture: Sharon Lucey)
Lee Dickson and Kahn Fotuali'i will continue to share the scrum-half workload at Saints (picture: Sharon Lucey)
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Jim Mallinder insists giving Lee Dickson the Saints captaincy will not alter the rotation policy the club employs at scrum-half.

Dickson was announced as the new skipper on Monday, taking over the role from Dylan Hartley who had held it since 2009.

But Mallinder has stressed that the decision to make Dickson captain will not mean he is a guaranteed starter.

Instead he intends to continue to share the workload between the England man and Kahn Fotuali’i, which is a system that has paid dividends during the past two seasons.

And Tom Kessell, who arrived at the club this summer after a stint at Bristol last season, will also be pushing for a starting spot.

“We’ve got two very good, high quality scrum-halves and actually some younger lads who are going to come through and push those two as well,” Mallinder said. “It’s not going to change that.

“We do not expect one of our players to start every game - it just doesn’t happen nowadays so we’ll be looking to change and rotate.

“Lee will captain the side when he’s playing.

“He’ll be the captain off the field but we’ve got so many good leaders who will also be pushing the side forward.

“They will have a chance to lead the side when Lee’s not playing.

“We’ve got people like Tom Wood, Dylan, Calum Clark - lots of players who can do that and will do that job.”

But Mallinder is looking forward to seeing how Dickson adapts to a task he feels he is made to do.

“Lee’s a natural leader anyway, the way he trains, the way he plays the game - he’s one of our key leaders on and off the field,” said Mallinder.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing him captain the side.”