Saints centre Dingwall enjoying his attacking development

When Fraser Dingwall was coming through the system at Saints, his defensive strength was always discussed.

By Tom Vickers
Thursday, 16th December 2021, 4:00 pm
Fraser Dingwall scored against Racing 92 last Friday
Fraser Dingwall scored against Racing 92 last Friday

A true leader from a young age, he was a strong presence in the midfield, as shown by the fact he skippered England Under-20s for their 2019 World Rugby U20 Championships campaign.

But while his defensive ability drew praise, less was said about how effective he could be in attack.

That, though, is changing rapidly, week by week.

Because Dingwall continues to add attacking strings to his bow.

And last Friday, despite Saints being completely outgunned by Racing 92 at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens, Dingwall came to the fore in opposition territory once again.

He not only scored but also provided a superb assist for wing Courtnall Skosan.

Dingwall somehow managed to take the contact while producing a perfectly-weighted kick that Skosan ran on to for the score.

It was a real highlight in a night that lacked them from a Saints perspective.

And Dingwall says he has been working hard on bringing his attacking game up to the level of his defence.

“I feel like I’ve put a lot of work in to improve my attacking game,” said the 22-year-old.

“I’ve spoken a lot to and been helped massively by (Saints attack coach) Sam Vesty.

“From a lot of time in playing that 12 and 13, I feel like I’m starting to get those rewards.

“Because I’m playing a bit more at 12 this year, there’s a bit more of a ball-playing role whereas in previous years I haven’t had as much responsibility in this team.

“I’m really enjoying it and I’m working hard at it.

“A lot of our game revolves around our 10 and 12 moving the ball so I feel that’s why I’m clocking up those assists.”

Dingwall delivered a hat-trick of try assists in a game against Gallagher Premiership champions Harlequins at the Twickenham Stoop last season and his good form has continued into the current campaign.

“I am enjoying my rugby at the moment and I’m trying to get better each week,” Dingwall said.

“I feel like I’m making gains and I’m trying to make a bigger impact this year.

“It’s just quite hard when the team don’t go as well.

“I’d love for the team to be flying and me to be flying as well.”

While Saints are sitting pretty in the Premiership - they are currently third - they face the prospect of an early exit from Europe.

They know they need to win at Ulster, just like Saints did so sensationally back in December 2012.

“I don’t remember that game at all but it’s been spoken about that this is a massively exciting week,” Dingwall said.

“On top of us not performing too well against Racing, Ulster have beaten Clermont away, which is infamously a very tough place to win.

“But historically we’ve done pretty well when we’ve been underdogs so hopefully we can turn up and put in a performance on Friday.”