Dowson says Harrison is one to watch at Saints

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PHIL DOWSON says Teimana Harrison is one to watch at Saints this season.

Kiwi kid Harrison, who turns 20 next week, hit the headlines last season as he made a big impression in the closing weeks of the campaign.

A HARRISON FAN - Phil Dowson

A HARRISON FAN - Phil Dowson

He scored a try against Worcester in the final game of the regular season to announce himself to the Franklin’s Gardens faithful.

And he has gone on to impress during pre-season, putting in some strong showings, most notably against Zebre in Vaquerin Challenge match at Millau.

Dowson has been impressed with his fellow back row battler, who was scouted by Dylan Hartley in New Zealand at the start of last season.

And the 30-year-old believes Harrison will make a name for himself this season and become a star man at Saints in seasons to come.

“T’s very natural,” said Dowson. “He understands the game well and he plays purely off instinct more than anything. He’s going to be one for the future.

“He’s an outstanding reader of the game and I enjoy playing alongside him because he’s in amongst it all the time.

“He’s hungry for success and Dylan Hartley has got him under his wing and is looking after him so he’s in good hands.

“He’s definitely one for the future and one to watch out for.”

Dowson and Harrison are part of a strong back row at Saints, with the likes of Tom Wood, Samu Manoa and the currently suspended Calum Clark set to scrap it out for starting spots this season.

Saints head to Gloucester on Saturday for the first game of the Aviva Premiership season and boss Jim Mallinder is likely to find selection tough.

But Dowson knows that’s a good thing and he’s happy to have so much competition.

“We’ve got Ben Nutley in there and a few of the other boys coming through from the Academy,” said the England star.

“We’ve got experience in me and Rhys Oakley and Calum Clark when he’s back from suspension. Tom Wood’s about as well so we’ve got a lot of competition and that’s what we want.

“The back row a tough place to play each week so it’s good to have people who are keen, fresh and fit.”