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Six Nations 2024: Fraser Dingwall will bring England 'a different dimension', says Steve Borthwick

Six Nations 2024: Fraser Dingwall will bring England 'a different dimension', says Steve Borthwick

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Fraser Dingwall will make his England debut as a midfielder against Italy on Saturday

Guinness Six Nations: Italy vs England

place: Olympic Stadium, Rome date: Saturday 3 February Starting: 14:15 GMT

coverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra; Live text and match highlights on the BBC Sport website and app; Watch live on ITV1.

Steve Borthwick says Fraser Dingwall will bring a “different dimension” when he makes his Test debut in England's Six Nations opener in Italy.

Dingwall starts at inside position as one of five uncapped players in manager Borthwick's squad for Saturday's match.

The 24-year-old Northampton full-back has featured in 10 previous England camps and fills the position held by Manu Tuilagi during the World Cup.

“Everyone can see how good he is playing,” Borthwick told BBC Sport.

“I think he described himself as ‘extremely persistent’ and I would say that is the understatement of the century.

“This is a man who is determined to play Test rugby, works incredibly hard and clearly deserves his chance.

“He comes in and tries to add different dimensions to our game. We want to make sure everyone is aligned tactically so they feel they can bring all their super strengths to the pitch.”

Borthwick has often favored Tuilagi's power and directness in midfield, but Dingwall has a different skill set to Sale's 32-year-old centre, who is sidelined with a thigh injury.

“Fraser is a really intelligent defender and an excellent distributor,” Borthwick added.

“He finds space when he chooses to carry and is quite different in physical stature to Manu Tuilagi but he uses all his talent in a really intelligent way.”

“It hasn't quite sunk in yet.”

Dingwall played rugby at age group level for Scotland and would have been tempted to switch his allegiance to Gregor Townsend's first team after failing to win an England cap to this point.

But the Saints academy graduate says he is now “determined to achieve success with England”.

“There's a lot of excitement, a lot of pride and a lot of emotion,” Dingwall told BBC Sport. He added: “The matter has not been settled yet, and I do not think it will happen until after the match.

“The 10 teams are a funny bunch because I didn't actually realize it was that many until now, but I'm really grateful for all of them because it really showed me what it took to make that leap.

“that was [first cap] Come earlier, I don't think I would have been ready, whereas now I'm in a place where I'm more confident in myself and I can go into this game really keen to perform rather than just be there.

Asked if he had considered making himself available to play in Scotland, Dingwall said: “There may have been times when it was difficult because I've been in and around a lot of teams, but I don't think I've ever been in a situation like that.” . The place where I justified the choice enough to turn my back [on England]”.

Dingwall will be alongside familiar faces in a backline that includes Northampton's Alex Mitchell and winger Tommy Freeman, while Finn Smith could also make his debut at fly-half from the bench.

England have not won their opening match in the last four nations, something the center says it is keen to change against the Azzurri.

“It's something we're keen to correct. We don't want to sleepwalk into the Six Nations, we want to attack it from the beginning,” he said.

He added, “There is additional pressure because I am participating for the first time, but I try to avoid that in my mind. I am just sticking to our plan and the way we want to play, and then the result will take care of itself.”

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