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Dickson ready for French challenge

08 March 2012

  • Half back changes for France don't worry Lee Dickson
  • Northampton scrum half wants running rugby from England in Paris
Scrum half Lee Dickson pauses for breath during an England training session

Photo: Getty Images

Lee Dickson is not worried by France Head Coach Philippe Saint-Andre’s decision to change his half back pairing for the clash on Sunday saying it won’t affect England’s preparation.

Saint-Andre has dropped François Trinh-Duc and Morgan Parra in favour of former Stade Francais team mates Lionel Beauxis and Julien Dupey following France’s tough draw against Ireland.

But Dickson said the news would “not massively” affect England’s preparation and says he is looking forward to a battle against Dupuy who used to play for Leicester Tigers in the Aviva Premiership.

Dickson said: “Beauxis is a very good kicker and organiser and Dupey is very similar to Parra. He a very good kicking game and he is a bit more of an organiser as well.

“So for us we will look at what they have done for Stade Francais – obviously they played 9 and 10 for Stade– and going forward we will analyse them and see where our best goals are. Julian, I have played against him a few times at Leicester and hopefully I can come out on top when we play at the weekend.”

The Northampton Saints no 9 made his first start for England in the 19-12 defeat at Twickenham having come off the bench against Scotland and Italy. He has paired Charlie Hodgson and Owen Farrell at half back in the three games to date and says he is enjoying the quick tempo of the game and the way both players run the game.

Julien Dupey in action for Stade Francais

Photo: Getty Images

Interim Head Coach Stuart Lancaster has also stressed the importance of England playing off 9, 10 and 12 and Dickson believes it suits his playing style.

“We talked about it the last couple of weeks doing a lot of tempo rugby, getting the ball away as quick as we can and I pride myself on that,” the 26-year-old said. “That is what Stuart has picked me on to actually get me in this squad and now going forward starting against Wales and hopefully getting a place against France as well.”

The backline began to show their attacking potential in the defeat against Wales after two impressive defence displays in the opening away matches and Dickson can see the development in the few weeks the squad have been together.

He said: “I think our backline is phenomenal. The runners we have, the power we have in the centres. We can break down a lot of teams and hopefully we can start showing that a bit more.

“We showed it a lot against Wales and we were excited about our running rugby and hopefully going forward we can do that.”

He said England had analysed why scoring opportunities had been missed against Wales saying “split second” decisions make all the difference, but added: “We are getting ourselves in brilliant positions and now moving forward we really need to finish these off and become a successful Test team."