Kahn Fotuali’i can’t understand why Lee Dickson has been omitted by England during the Six Nations.
But the Samoan star has backed his Saints team-mate to rise to the challenge of reclaiming his international spot.
Dickson was named in the England EPS squad in October, but did not play a part in any of the November internationals.
And he has yet to get a minute of Six Nations action, with Leicester’s Ben Youngs and Saracens’ Richard Wigglesworth named in the matchday squads.
Fotuali’i feels Dickson is playing well enough to be given a shot, and he believes the 29-year-old will soon get back in the mix.
“I was getting used to Lee being away last year and I got a run of games, but it’s good having him here,” said the former Ospreys player.
“He’s a leader of the squad, he’s always chirpy and positive, which is good around this sort of period.
“Last year, Lee was on form and in the autumn he made the initial squad, but just got pushed out of the back.
“I couldn’t see why because he was playing well, but I suppose the other players brought different styles of play.
“He’s just got to focus on his job here and control his performances and hopefully us players around him, with our forwards and backs, will help him out.
“He’s playing really well and hopefully a couple months down the track he’ll get back in.
“Lee will look forward to the challenge.”