Dowson discusses how he found his first game as Saints director of rugby

Phil DowsonPhil Dowson
Phil Dowson
Phil Dowson has enjoyed his transition from forwards coach to director of rugby at Saints.

The 40-year-old stepped up to take over from Chris Boyd this summer.

And he was able to register a win in his first game in charge as Saints beat Bedford Blues 40-26 in the pre-season opener at cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens last Saturday.

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When asked how he had found his job change, Dowson said: "You get into certain habits and I immediately went over to watch the lineouts, which I don't necessarily need to do any more, but I do enjoy doing that.

"Things like substitutions, when we make changes, half-time bits and pieces, post-match - it's all the same but different.

"I've learned a lot from the different DORs and coaches I've played under over the years and it's just a slight change of routine.

"I'd hope I'll always be relatively authentic.

"I might curtail what I say at times or I might ask more questions that I normally would, whether that's in defence or attack.

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"I'm really interested in expanding my knowledge on the backs play."

Saints scored six tries as they saw off the Blues last Saturday.

But Dowson knows the serious stuff has yet to start as he prepares his side for their Gallagher Premiership curtain raiser at Sale Sharks on September 9.

He said: "You can only really measure a pre-season when you start playing the Premiership games to see the value of it and see the things you could have done differently and what you still need to work on.

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"We won't know the quality of our pre-season until we've played four or five games in the Prem, and we'll try to review that for our learnings moving forward.

"But in terms of the application of the playing staff and support staff, it's been absolutely phenomenal in terms of moving the whole gym, doing it all off-site, making sure we're organised, and the boys' commitment has been fantastic.

"I'm so proud of the lads."

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