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 , October 17
Harlequins vs Castres19:45
Saturday , October 18
Sale vs Munster13:00
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:15
Leicester vs Ulster19:45
Glasgow vs Bath15:15
Racing Metro 92 vs Northampton17:15
Sunday , October 19
Leinster vs Wasps17:15
Toulon vs Scarlets15:15
Toulouse vs Montpellier13:00
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso13:00
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
  • Champions Cup Table
Pool 1
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Leinster622
2Northampton617
3Castres69
4Ospreys65
Pool 2
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Toulon624
2Cardiff Blues614
3Exeter612
4Glasgow Warriors611
Pool 3
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Toulouse623
2Saracens620
3Connacht613
4Zebre60
Pool 4
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Clermont Auvergne624
2Harlequins616
3Scarlets611
4Racing Metro Paris67
Pool 5
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Ulster626
2Leicester Tigers621
3Montpellier611
4Treviso60
Pool 6
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Munster623
2Gloucester614
3Edinburgh612
4Perpignan67