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

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Phil Dowson

The 40-year-old took over from Chris Boyd this summer.

And he was able to record a win in his first game in charge when the Saints beat the Bedford Blues 40-26 in the pre-season opener at Cinch Stadium in Franklin’s Gardens last Saturday.

When asked how he found his change of job, Dowson said: “You pick up some habits and I immediately went to look at the rosters, which I don’t necessarily need to do anymore, but I like the TO DO.

“Things like substitutions, when we make changes, pieces at half-time, after the game – everything is the same but different.

“I’ve learned a lot from the different DORs and coaches I’ve played with over the years and it’s just a slight change in routine.

“I hope I will always be relatively authentic.

“I might sometimes restrict what I say or I might ask more questions than I normally would, whether in defense or attack.

“I’m really interested in deepening my knowledge of the back game.”

The Saints scored six tries as they knocked out the Blues last Saturday.

But Dowson knows the serious business has yet to begin 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 Premiership games to see the value and see the things you could have done differently that you still need to work on.

“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 going forward.

“But in terms of the application of the playing staff and the support staff, it’s been absolutely phenomenal in terms of moving the whole gymnasium, getting everything offsite, making sure we’re organized and the commitment boys was fantastic.

“I’m so proud of the guys.”

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