Northampton Saints' Lee Dickson shares England role credit

Dickson makes 'best start to season'

Northampton scrum-half Lee Dickson says working with team-mate Kahn Fotuali'i has improved his England credentials.

Dickson rotates responsibility for the Saints nine shirt with Fotuali'i, but has played six times for England this year, taking him to 18 caps.

"We feed off each other. We're friends on and off the pitch," the 29-year-old told BBC Radio Northampton.

"Personally he's been a massive help - seeing things differently here but also getting up that pecking order."

Dickson's England career
2012: Scotland (replacement), Italy (r), Wales, France, Ireland, South Africa (r), South Africa (r)
2013: Argentina, Argentina, Australia, Argentina, New Zealand
2014: France (r), Scotland (r), Wales (r), Italy (r), New Zealand (r), New Zealand (r)

Dickson started 16 games for Saints last season to New Zealander Fotuali'i's 21, as the Franklin's Gardens side finished as Premiership and Amlin Challenge Cup champions.

And last year Fotuali'i backed his team-mate to become England's first-choice number nine.

All of Dickson's England appearances in 2014 have come off the bench, but he played a part in four Six Nations games as he looks to challenge Danny Care and Ben Youngs for the scrum-half role in Stuart Lancaster's team.

"Personally that was my best year of rugby last year. I don't think I've had a better year than that," he said.

"I played in every international going, and was involved in all the games here.

"Having Kahn here, a world-class player, I've learned a lot from him and hopefully he's learned a bit from me."