Skippering England Under-20s is 'very special' for Saints centre Dingwall

Fraser Dingwall will captain England Under-20s on Friday night (picture: Getty Images)
Fraser Dingwall will captain England Under-20s on Friday night (picture: Getty Images)

Fraser Dingwall is ready to lead by example after being handed the 'big honour' of the England Under-20 captaincy for Friday's Six Nations opener against Ireland.

The talented Saints centre will lead a starting 15 that includes three members of the Northampton squad.

Alex Coles and Ollie Sleightholme are also in from the off as England look to get off to a flyer against at the Irish Independent Park in Cork.

And Dingwall can't wait to lead the team out this week.

"It is a big honour," said the 19-year-old, who has made 11 appearances for Saints this season.

"Being named in the team first of all was quite a big thing, especially because of how many talented players we've got who have played at a high level.

"To get the captaincy as well is a very special thing.

"It is going really well and I'm not getting ahead of myself - I'm just trying to keep this good run going game by game to keep my form.

"The experience I've had over the past few months is something I can bring to the squad, but a lot of lads have had the same.

"A lot of us have played Premiership rugby and we've got Ted Hill in the squad who is actually a full international.

"There are a lot of leaders in this squad who will hopefully come together collectively and put on a good display on Friday.

"This is an incredibly talented squad and when you look at the bench and those not included, that's when you realise how talented this year group is."

Dingwall has received plenty of praise from club boss Chris Boyd, who revealed the centre's half-time speech in the changing room was a key factor in the stunning win against Exeter Chiefs in the final fixture of 2018.

And when asked about being a leader, Dingwall, who has scored four tries for his club during the current campaign, said: "It is one of my strengths.

"I don't necessarily think it's all about speaking. I'm not one to rev people up before games, I actually think actions can define a leader more.

"Going out and doing what I normally do is what I will do and I won't necessarily change due to being captain.

"I've captained a fair few teams before - my school, Saints Academy so I have done it a fair few times."