Phil Dowson is relishing the chance to return to the club that he loves as he prepares to become an assistant coach at Saints.
Dowson, who is currently at Worcester Warriors, will retire from playing this summer and come back to Franklin’s Gardens.
He will form part of a coaching setup that is headed by director of rugby Jim Mallinder, with Dorian West remaining as forwards coach, Mark Hopley becoming defence coach and Alan Dickens taking up the attack coach role on a full-time basis.
And Dowson can’t wait to get stuck in at Saints, where he played for six years, making 186 appearances, after joining from Newcastle Falcons in 2009.
“The Saints was where I enjoyed most of my success as a player, and in my six years there we were competing in semi-finals and finals each season,” said Dowson, who was a key figure in bringing the Premiership title to Saints for the first time, in 2014. “So while I’m sad to be retiring this is a great opportunity to get involved with the club that I love.
“I obviously know Jim, Dorian, Alan and Mark really well, and how the club works, and this will be a massive help as I make the transition into the next stage of my career onto what will be a steep learning curve.
“Franklin’s Gardens is a special place, and throughout the club – players, coaches, staff, ownership and supporters – everyone wants the Saints to be successful.
“It’s a strong club with strong values and culture, and I’m looking forward to getting on the other side of the fence and helping the players get better and to achieve things.”