Challenge Cup: Reprieved Dixon keen to repay coach’s faith

Hull KR's 'Kieran Dixon
Hull KR's 'Kieran Dixon
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KIERAN DIXON has thanked Hull KR head coach Chris Chester for not over-reacting following his mistakes this year.

The elusive young full-back has shone at times during his debut campaign following a move from London Broncos and hopes to be named for tomorrow’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final against Leeds Rhinos.

However, Dixon, who turned 23 on Saturday, has endured some high-profile gaffes, too, and knows other coaches may not have been as patient.

“I don’t like making errors but when you do you have to be allowed to fix them,” he said.

“I think I have had that this year.

“There have been some games where I’ve made errors and games I’ve dropped out of, but it takes those matches to realise how hard you have to work.

“The way Chessy has allowed me to make mistakes and hasn’t pulled me off has helped me.

“I think that approach will help me develop as a player.”

Dixon has amassed 15 tries in just 22 matches for Rovers this season and created many others with his electric pace and trickery but still faced stiff competition from veteran Ben Cockayne for the No 1 role.

Chester has faced a major dilemma in deciding who to pick against Leeds and Dixon admitted: “The competition with Benny (Cockayne) is great for someone like me.

“I can only learn from playing with him, but obviously I want to cement the full-back for the long-term as well.

“I was lucky enough to get the No 1 shirt at the start of this season, but as we’ve seen over the course of the year it has been me and Benny swapping in and out of full-back.

“If I was to miss out I would be really upset. I feel like I have managed my season pretty well with the situations I have been put in.

“This week is nerve-wracking for everybody but it’s out of my hands.”

The prospect of returning to his home city – Dixon was born in Hackney – in such a prestigious event is not lost on him.

“The enormity of the match is incredible,” said the England Knights player. “It was a shock knowing if we won the semi-final I’d be going back to London to play my first match in the capital since I left the Broncos.

“I think every sportsman’s dream is to step out on a field like Wembley. And it’s big, too, so it suits my style of play.”