Dowson believes new signing Brookes will love life at Saints

UP FOR THE CHALLENGE - Phil Dowson believes Kieran Brookes (left) will relish the chance to play for Saints
UP FOR THE CHALLENGE - Phil Dowson believes Kieran Brookes (left) will relish the chance to play for Saints

Phil Dowson believes Kieran Brookes will relish Saints’ club culture when the England man moves from Newcastle this summer.

Brookes, who has six international caps to his name, turned down the chance to stay at Kingston Park in favour of a switch to Franklin’s Gardens.

He will be a replacement for Salesi Ma’afu, who will be heading to Toulon at the end of the current campaign.

Dowson left Newcastle for Northampton in 2009, and he feels Brookes will relish his new environment.

“I left (Newcastle) six years ago and it’s a whole different system now, a different coaching setup,” said the 33-year-old.

“When I left, it was a massive change for me but Newcastle are a lot more professional now and have a lot better facilities than when I was there.

“I don’t really know enough about it to say what he’ll find different, but I’m sure he’ll enjoy it down here.

“The culture at the club led by Dylan (Hartley) and the senior players group makes players feel very welcome and I’m sure he’ll slot in just fine.”

And Dowson is backing Brookes to be a big success at Saints.

He added: “Kieran’s a top man. He’ll be a great signing. When Salesi leaves he’ll fill that hole very nicely.

“He’s different to Salesi in that he’s a bit younger and he’s still got a bit to learn, but he’s a great athlete and another great signing for the club.”