Planet Rugby

Challenge Cup enticing - Dickinson

16th January 2014 07:42

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Northampton v Sale Sam Dickinson tackled by Tommy Taylor

Powerhouse: Sam Dickinson

Sam Dickinson is adamant Northampton Saints would look to excel in the Challenge Cup should they drop out of Europe's top tournament.

Saints look set to fall short in their bid for a place in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals, needing a win over Castres on Friday before hoping results elsewhere are in their favour.

But Jim Mallinder's men do appear relatively assured of a berth in the latter stages of the Challenge Cup, with an away quarter-final on the cards.

And Dickinson claims he and his team-mates would not allow their continental enthusiasm to wane should they find themselves competing in the second-tier competition.

"It would be taken on as a brand new challenge," number eight Dickinson told the Northamptonshire Telegraph.

"It will be disappointing if we are out of the Heineken Cup, but we'll take that just as seriously and that will be the next target to win."

Of Saints' Heineken Cup campaign, Dickinson admits the side have been left disappointed by losses to Castres and Leinster, but states those defeats have offered something of a learning curve for the Premiership title-contenders.

"We've lost twice and it's not ideal," added Dickinson.

"It's a very tough group and you can't take anything for granted, but at the same time I think everyone's learned a lot from those losses.

"They've not been swept under the rug and hopefully that will push us forward as a squad."

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Friday , October 24
Munster vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs Toulon13:00
Scarlets vs Leicester19:45
Bath vs Toulouse15:15
Montpellier vs Glasgow17:15
Northampton vs Ospreys17:15
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale13:00
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Wasps vs Harlequins17:15
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 9217:15
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Sunday , October 19
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Saturday , October 18
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
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Harlequins 25 - 9 CastresHarlequins vs Castres Report
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Pool 1
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1Saracens15
2Munster14
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2Harlequins14
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4Treviso10