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Double-hundred up for Dowson in Aviva Premiership

Phil Dowson's Premiership moments © Getty Images

Team News Double-hundred up for Dowson in Aviva Premiership

Saturday’s Round 16 clash between Northampton Saints and Gloucester marks a major milestone in Phil Dowson’s long career – his 200th appearance in Aviva Premiership Rugby.

It is certainly apt that Dowson’s double-hundred should come in a game against Gloucester as they were the same opponents when he made his Aviva Premiership debut in November 2001.

It took two more seasons for the flanker to score his first Aviva Premiership try, but since then he has gone on to cross the whitewash 25 times. And of his 199 appearances to date in the competition, 96 were for Newcastle Falcons and the 103 for the Saints, who he joined in the summer of 2010.

Director of rugby Jim Mallinder hailed Dowson’s achievement as “magnificent”.

“Phil has been a leader and a senior figure throughout his time at the Saints, and I had plenty of respect for him when he was at Newcastle, too,” he said. “Passing the 200-appearance milestone in the Aviva Premiership is pretty rare, and reflects Phil’s consistency throughout his career. He sets himself the highest standards and is a great example for the other players at the club.

“Phil certainly deserves all the congratulations that will come his way tomorrow.”

Dowson will lead the Saints out tomorrow afternoon, skippering a side showing two changes from that which beat the Falcons last Sunday. Both are in the pack, with Alex Waller and Samu Manoa dropping from the starting lineup to the bench. Waller is replaced by his brother Ethan, with GJ Van Velze coming in for Manoa. Van Velze’s introduction sees Sam Dickinson move into the second row.

There are four changes on the bench, with Lee Dickson back from England, Will Hooley returning after his match winning performance for Moseley in the Championship last weekend, prop Tom Mercey and injury returnee Ben Foden.

There are limited tickets remaining for Saturday’s game, so booking now is advised to avoid any disappointment. All you have to do is CLICK HERE and follow the straightforward instructions!

And you can hear the thoughts of Jim Mallinder, Stephen Myler and Samu Manoa on tomorrow’s game right now on the official Saints podcast, along with a variety of other behind-the-scenes interviews from Franklin’s Gardens. The podcast can be downloaded or streamed for FREE on any device by CLICKING HERE 

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS TEAM TO PLAY GLOUCESTER
Aviva Premiership Round 16
Franklin’s Gardens
Saturday, March 1st, 2014
Kick off 3:15pm
15 James WILSON
14 Ken PISI
13 George PISI
12 Tom STEPHENSON
11 Jamie ELLIOTT
10 Stephen MYLER
9 Kahn FOTUALI’I
1 Ethan WALLER
2 Mike HAYWOOD
3 Salesi MA’AFU
4 Sam DICKINSON
5 Christian DAY
6 Calum CLARK
7 Phil DOWSON (capt)
8 GJ VAN VELZE

Replacements
16 Ross MCMILLAN
17 Alex WALLER
18 Tom MERCEY
19 Samu MANOA
20 Ben NUTLEY
21 Lee DICKSON
22 Will HOOLEY
23 Ben FODEN

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