Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Standing Start No Problem for Lee; Lee Dickson Tips England to Find Their Rhythm

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Standing Start No Problem for Lee; Lee Dickson Tips England to Find Their Rhythm

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Smith Sports writer @markismith50

ENGLAND scrum-half Lee Dickson insists his side's lack of a run-up will not be an excuse when they host world champions New Zealand at Twickenham on Saturday.

The former Newcastle Falcons and Barnard Castle School scrum-half appeared twice against the All Blacks on England's June tour, New Zealand playing eight times since then while England have been without a single international.

Dickson, who now plays for Premiership champions Northampton Saints, said: "It is a bonus to have the All Blacks first up, and you don't need a warm-up game to get you up for that challenge.

"The fact they are the number one team on the planet with world-class players across the park is enough to automatically get you switched on, and for England it is all about matching that."

New Zealand limbered up for their Twickenham showdown by thrashing the USA 74-6 in Chicago on Saturday, Dickson among those tuning in.

He said: "They are always an impressive side, and they were pretty slick against America.

"Their recent games with Australia and South Africa both had great finishes with one defeat and one win late on, but we know what we need to do and there is a great buzz about the camp."

With a stable squad on hand as Dickson looks to add to his 18 caps, the 29-year-old said: "It has been good getting back into the swing of it this past fortnight.

"The main thing has just been refreshing your memory on all the calls and patterns after a couple of months back with our clubs, but in terms of the squad and management we are definitely benefiting from the fact that things are fairly settled.

"The guys know how each other as players, they know what Stuart Lancaster wants and he has basically had the same nucleus to his squad for the past few years now.

"The fact that he and his assistants have signed long-term deals backs up that long-term outlook, and it is defi-nitely a world-class set-up when you come into the camp. …

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