Dowson to leave Saints for Worcester

Date published: February 10 2015

Worcester Warriors have announced that Northampton Saints back-row Phil Dowson will join them at the end of the season.

The 33-year-old will move to the Warriors – who are currently in first position on the Championship table – after six successful years with the Saints.

Dowson, who has played 179 times for the Franklin's Gardens club, was an instrumental part of the side which won the Aviva Premiership and the Amlin Challenge Cup last May.

He captained Jim Mallinder's side for parts of both campaigns as Northampton enjoyed their most triumphant season in the club's history.

Dowson was also a leading figure as the club won the LV= Cup trophy in 2010 before reaching the Heineken Cup final the following season.

Prior to joining Northampton, he made over 120 appearances for Newcastle Falcons, spending two seasons as captain following the club's Powergen Cup success in 2004.

On the international front, Dowson has won seven caps for England since making his debut against Scotland in the 2012 RBS Six Nations Campaign.

He went on to appear in all five Six Nations matches that year as England narrowly missed out on top spot to Wales.

After captaining his country against the Barbarians at Twickenham, Dowson was included for England's 2012 tour to South Africa, appearing in two of the three games.

"The opportunity to join such a forward-thinking club as Warriors is certainly an exciting one and something I am immensely looking forward to," Dowson told Worcester's official website.

"Warriors are a club who have progressed rapidly behind the scenes in the last 18 months and they are clearly set for a very bright future, of which I am delighted to be a part of."

Warriors Director of Rugby Dean Ryan said: "We are continuing to build a side which can progress season after season and to be able to attract a player of Phil's calibre to be at the centre of that journey is a huge coup for the club.

"Phil's leadership qualities have been a crucial component of the success Northampton have experienced in recent seasons and his presence at Sixways will be huge for the development of this young side."