Dixon’s raising the bar

SaintsAndrew Dixon celebrates second half try with Lance Hohaia in game against     Salford in the Stobart Super League match at Langtree Park.
SaintsAndrew Dixon celebrates second half try with Lance Hohaia in game against Salford in the Stobart Super League match at Langtree Park.
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ROYCE Simmons has praised rising star Andrew Dixon’s reaction to his demand for the youngster to step up his game.

Dixon made only three starting appearances last season, living to some extent in the shadows at Saints, but had the consolation of being named on the bench 15 times, including in the Grand Final defeat against Leeds at Old Trafford.

Now 21-year-old Dixon, who can operate both at loose forward and in the second row, is thirsting to nail down a more regular first team starting spot, and his eye-catching performances in the opening fixtures has brought positive vibes from head coach Royce Simmons.

Simmons said: “We spoke to Dicko at the end of the year and asked him to bring more things to his game. He was a good steady first grader, but wasn’t winning any man of the match accolades, as well as not scoring many tries.

“His defence wasn’t bruising enough, and we also talked about him running better lines and angles and bringing some extra grunt to his defence.

“During the last few weeks, his attacking play has been good, but his defence not quite up to scratch. But against Salford he got both parts of his game right.

“Dicko is tremendous, and is now getting his rewards for training hard, learning off the senior players.”

Dixon joined Saints from Blackbrook, making his senior against Hull KR in February 2009, and since then has been included in the final 17-man squad 49 times – 30 as a substitute.