Dixon thanks Highlanders for rise

Date published: May 29 2016

Highlanders flanker Elliot Dixon praised his franchise for giving him the skills required to take his game to the next level after he was named in the New Zealand squad to play Wales.

Dixon was included ahead of a three-match Test series which gets underway with the first game taking place in Auckland on June 11.

Speaking after the squad announcement on Saturday, Dixon told Stuff.co.nz that he enjoys the physical side of the game.

"I'm a big fan of contact sport and the contact in the sport. It's been pretty easy just to live for the contact and I have fun doing it," he said.

Dixon added that the Highlanders have done a fantastic job in developing his game and that he would not be in such good form if it was not for the help of the Dunedin based side.

"The Highlanders have been really good for us as a forward pack because the game-plan has been so easy. We've got our roles, it's kept pretty simple and if we do it we'll usually go well," he said.

"I definitely wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the Highlanders forward pack and the Highlanders as a club. "It's a pretty cool feeling that a couple of us got recognised today."

Dixon continued that after not being selected for the 2015 World Cup squad he knew that he had to work hard and ensure that he put in consistent performances every game in order to get his much prized All Blacks call-up, which came on Sunday when the squad was announced.

"I knew what I needed to work on and what I had to do, which was have another good year. You can't get in the All Blacks on one good year. You need to back it up," said Dixon.