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Director of Rugby
Phil Dowson
  • DOB1 Oct 1981
  • BirthplaceGuildford

After a hugely successful playing career at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens, back-row Phil Dowson hung up his boots at the end of the 2016/17 season to join Northampton Saints’ coaching set-up.

Initially arriving in 2009 from Newcastle Falcons, Dowson made a total of 186 appearances for the Club, and scored 28 tries in Black, Green and Gold.

He skippered the team to the 2010 Anglo-Welsh Cup title, and also starred in Saints’ fairytale 2011 Heineken Cup run where he scored the opening try of the final.

But after reaching the Premiership Rugby final for the first time in 2013, the real success story came 12 months later as Dowson lifted both the league and European Challenge Cup titles.

His 262 Premiership Rugby appearances is the third-highest tally in the competition’s history, and more than any active player. Dowson was also capped seven times by England, captaining both the England Saxons in multiple Churchill Cups and the senior England side in a non-capped international against the Barbarians at Twickenham.

Following a two-year stint with Worcester Warriors to round off his playing career, he returned to join the first-team set-up at Franklin’s Gardens as assistant coach at the beginning of the 2017/18 season.

But after impressing that term in his new coaching role, new director of rugby Chris Boyd entrusted Dowson with marshalling Saints’ forwards at the beginning of the 2018/19 campaign. He coached an England XV that faced the Barbarians in June 2019.

In January 2022, the Club announced that Dowson would be succeeding Boyd as Director of Rugby ahead of the start of the 2022/23 season. And in his first year at the helm, Dowson led Saints to the Gallagher Premiership knock-out stages – where Saints would fall to eventual champions Saracens. 

Dowson penned a new contract with Saints in February 2024, signing on again to remain Director of Rugby beyond the 2023/24 season. 

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