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."

  • Champions Cup Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , December 5
Montpellier vs Bath19:45
Saturday , December 6
Sale vs Saracens13:00
Munster vs Clermont Auvergne17:30
Ulster vs Scarlets19:45
Benetton Treviso vs Northampton13:00
Ospreys vs Racing Metro 9215:15
Sunday , December 7
Castres vs Wasps13:00
Harlequins vs Leinster15:15
Leicester vs Toulon17:30
Toulouse vs Glasgow15:15
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
  • Champions Cup Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne 35 - 3 Sale Sharks
Castres 16 - 21 Leinster
Wasps 16 - 23 Harlequins
Benetton Treviso 10 - 26 Racing Metro 92
Saturday , October 25
Bath 19 - 21 Toulouse
Montpellier 13 - 15 Glasgow
Ulster 13 - 23 Toulon
Northampton 34 - 6 Ospreys
Scarlets 15 - 3 Leicester
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 Saracens
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
  • Champions Cup Table
Pool 1
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Munster28
2Clermont Auvergne26
3Saracens25
4Sale Sharks21
Pool 2
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Harlequins28
2Leinster28
3Wasps22
4Castres21
Pool 3
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Toulon28
2Scarlets24
3Leicester Tigers24
4Ulster21
Pool 4
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Glasgow Warriors29
2Toulouse28
3Montpellier22
4Bath21
Pool 5
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Racing Metro Paris28
2Northampton25
3Ospreys25
4Treviso20