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Alan Dickens ready for Northampton challenge

Attack coach Alan Dickens says he is "looking forward" to the challenging opportunity he has been handed at Northampton Saints.

Northampton sacked director of rugby Jim Mallinder on December 12 following a string of poor results and the club have placed 41-year-old Dickens in temporary charge of the team.

The Englishman took charge for the first time on Sunday but he was unable to stop Saints from losing 32-15 to the Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium in the European Rugby Champions Cup.

It was the 10th defeat from the last 11 matches for the Aviva Premiership outfit but, despite another loss, Dickens is feeling upbeat and is eager to sink his teeth into the new role.

"It was a very tough end to a tough week, but we've had more than one tough week," he said. "It was really disappointing to lose this game. We didn't take our chances in the first half but credit to the lads coming out after half-time and putting them under pressure.

"I've been asked to do a job here and I will continue to put all my efforts and enthusiasm into it. It's a challenge and one I'm looking forward to."

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