Dowson has featured in every Saints game so far in 2013/14 © Getty Images
Rugby News Players ready to step up for Sarries says Dowson
Back row Phil Dowson says that while a number of the Saints’ international contingent will be absent for this weekend’s top of the table clash with Saracens, squad members are champing at the bit to join the action for the Franklin’s Gardens showdown.
The hosts will be without the quintet of skipper Dylan Hartley, Alex Corbisiero, Lee Dickson, Courtney Lawes and Tom Wood, while Sarries themselves will be shorn of the Vunipola brothers, Chris Ashton, Owen Farrell and Joel Tomkins – all 10 retained by England coach Stuart Lancaster.
Yet Dowson believes there is plenty of quality to come in for what promises to be a thrilling contest.
“I think it’s going to be a great game,” he told the official Saints Podcast. “A few of the England players will be missing on both sides which makes it all the more exciting, with people stepping up and looking to take their chance.
“We’ve got a lot of class throughout our squad and with Dicko away with England, Kahn is the perfect example at scrum-half. Hopefully he can get our backs firing and there’s plenty more players who’ve been impressive in the Wanderers if needed to step up.
“Dom Waldouck is back and firing now after injury and Ben Nutley is another who has impressed for the Wanderers. That’s just to name a few and whoever is picked to step up will be looking to impress. It’s one thing playing Wandies rugby but a packed Franklin’s Gardens against Sarries is a different thing altogether.
“It looks like being a full house and the lads are all excited about it.”
With the competition mentioned particularly fierce in the back row, Dowson also addressed the double edged sword of a rotation policy the Saints coaches have been particularly keen to implement in the early stages of this season, admitting it will be beneficial for the team in the long run.
“I’m still itching to play every game but it’s nice to not have to drag yourself through the week to be ready for the next game,” he added. “On the weeks where I’m rested or get a few minutes off the bench, it allows me to recover so I’m not too beaten up for when I am back in the first team.
“While it’s frustrating, because you do want to start in all the big games, it means you are fresher and looking at the quality and competition in our back row that can only be a good thing, especially for me being a little older!”
Tickets remain available for Saturday's 3:15pm showdown, but are now extremely limited. Book online now by CLICKING HERE