This midfield man has been training with Eddie Jones’s England squad
Northampton Saints centre Fraser Dingwall
How old were you when you starting playing?
Six, at Cambridge RUFC. I also played at Bedford School.
Did you play any other sports?
A fair bit of football. Sometimes on a Sunday I’d play rugby in the morning and football in the afternoon. I kept playing both until I was 14.
What positions have you played?
I started as a fly-half and slowly moved wider, to 12 and then 13. I played a year at full-back at school too. I’d say 13 is my main position.
What are your strengths?
Probably my reading of the game, defensively more than attack. I’m naturally not the biggest so I’m working on my physicality.
When did you link up with Saints?
When I was 13. I’ve gone right through – U16, U18 and senior academy.
What about age-grade honours?
I didn’t get picked for Midlands U16, so I went down the Scottish Exiles route and captained Scotland U16, then played for the U18s the following year. The next year I played for England U18 and I had two years with the U20s.
Is it England all the way now?
It’s still very much up in the air. I want to play at the highest level I can.
How did you find training with England in the Six Nations?
A good learning experience. It was quite surreal but I was lucky to be part of that environment.
What would you like to have achieved in a year’s time?
I’d like to have won silverware with Saints and to be included in next year’s Six Nations EPS.
Who’s been the biggest influence on you?
Can I name a few? Roddy Deans, my Scotland U16 coach; Barry Burgess and James Hinkins at Bedford School; Simon Sinclair, who pushed me through at Saints. And John Fletcher.
What do you do away from rugby?
I’m doing a part-time degree with the Open University in health sciences – it’s the closest thing I could do to biomedical science.
I was going to study that at university but then the senior academy offer came in and I went down the rugby route. It’s good to have something to do off the pitch. I’m racing through it at the minute!
RW VERDICT: He grew up admiring the feats of Dan Carter and is flourishing at Franklin’s Gardens thanks to another Kiwi, Chris Boyd. Averaging a try every three games for Northampton, Dingwall is already on Eddie Jones’s radar.
This article originally appeared in the June 2020 edition of Rugby World magazine.
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