Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Counties Call Is an Honour for Dickinson

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Counties Call Is an Honour for Dickinson

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Smith

TYNEDALE prop David Dickinson has spoken of his honour at being one of five North East players lining up for national duty in Africa this week.

The 32-year-old is currently in the Ugandan capital city of Kampala with the England Counties squad, with their threegame tour getting under way today against an East African Select XV.

"Like any player at any level it is fantastic to represent your country, and hopefully we can do the shirt justice during the games that we have," said Dickinson, who is joined in the squad by club-mates Harry Peck and Richard Boyle, Tynedale old boy Jack Smales and Blaydon lock Chris Wearmouth.

"It is a huge honour to be selected to go over there, and I am really excited about the whole trip. We flew out on Friday to the Kenyan capital Nairobi, and then straight on to the Ugandan capital Kampala from there.

"I have never been to Africa before at all so it is something I have been looking forward to, and as well as the rugby it will be great to see a bit more of the country and to take part on some of the outreach projects that we have set up.

"Rugby is a developing sport in parts of Africa at the moment, so to go over there and try to help spread the word is a really important part of the whole trip."

Explaining the England Counties concept, which offers national team exposure to players beyond the Premiership and Championship, he said: "It is basically the England team for players who aren't fully professional, so you are talking mainly guys from National One and leagues like that.

"It is a bit faster than our normal league rugby with the pace of the players, which I suppose is only natural when you think you are playing with the best of the best from that level."

Dickinson made his England Counties debut back in March at Preston Grasshoppers RFC, coming on from the bench as they defeated the Ireland Club XV 34-16. …

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