It’s hard to imagine a Saints side without Phil Dowson and after being the most featured Saints player in 2013/14, the durable flanker heads into his sixth year at the Gardens.
In all, 36 of the Saints 39 games in the 2013/14 season included appearances for Phil, whose role as captain in Dylan Hartley’s saw him help lift both the Aviva Premiership trophy and Amlin Challenge Cup.
The back row is not alien to silverware either, having lifted the Saints’ first major domestic trophy – the LV= Cup – in his first season at the club.
The Guildford born, former Newcastle Falcon hit a half-century with the Saints just 18 months into his time at the club before committing his future to the club by signing a contract extension.
Top of the stats again and a regular on the scoresheet at the start of 2011/12, Phil’s form proved hard to ignore for England head coach Stuart Lancaster, who awarded the Saxons Churchil Cup winner a long overdue and triumphant first cap against Scotland at Murrayfield.
He obviously impressed as Phil was again involved over the summer of 2012, included for England's tour of South Africa, also skippering his country against the Barbarians at Twickenham.
A new contract in took ‘Dows’ into a fifth season and beyond, his century in black, green and gold marked with a man of the match performance in a victory at Newport.