Dowson to become a Saint
Falcon to fly the nest in the summer to move to Franklin's Gardens
Last Updated: 15/04/09 11:41am
Dowson: On the move
Northampton have signed flanker Phil Dowson from Guinness Premiership rivals Newcastle on a two-year deal.
The 27-year-old will move to Franklin's Gardens in the summer having spent the past eight years plying his trade with the Falcons.
Dowson, who can play in any of the back-row positions, captained the England Saxons in their recent international victory over Portugal.
"I need to get out of my comfort zone and develop as a player and this move to Northampton will do that," said Dowson.
"I'd heard nothing but positive things about the Saints, which were backed up when I came to look around the club.
"This season Saints have had good cup runs and achieved positive results in the league.
"The coaches are making the club stronger all the time and over the next few years I want to help the Saints push up the Guinness Premiership and hopefully yield some silverware."
Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder knows all about Dowson's abilities, having worked with the player during his time in charge of the Saxons.
"Phil is an exciting signing for us as we build for next year," Mallinder said on his latest recruit.
"His leadership skills are excellent, as I know all too well from working with him. We want leaders at the club who will represent us well on and off the field and Phil is one such man.
"The back row is a vital area of the game and Phil's know-how, skills and physicality will complement the players we have here already superbly."