Skipper Dowson tells Saints players to grab their trophy chance

HISTORY REPEATING - Phil Dowson lifts the LV= Cup back in 2010. He is hoping to repeat the trick at Exeter this afternoon

HISTORY REPEATING - Phil Dowson lifts the LV= Cup back in 2010. He is hoping to repeat the trick at Exeter this afternoon

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Phil Dowson has urged the Saints players to grab their chance of silverware at Sandy Park this afternoon (ko 3pm).

The flanker feels victory against Exeter Chiefs would be the perfect way to crown a string of fine performances since the international stars departed for Six Nations duty.

Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes, Tom Wood, Lee Dickson, Luther Burrell and George North have all missed the past seven club games.

But Saints have won every one of them, stretching their winning run to a huge 13 matches in the process.

And Dowson, who has been skippering the side in Hartley’s absence, said: “I’m loving the fact we’re in a final and we could have something to show before the England boys get back for the quality work we’ve been putting in recently.

“I’m delighted and very proud to be leading this Saints team.

“I’ve managed to get a good run of games and I’d much rather it that way than not playing, so I’ve enjoyed the last month and a bit.”

Dowson skippered the Saints in the final the last time they claimed some silverware, beating Gloucester to lift the LV= Cup at Sixways in March, 2010.

They have suffered three final disappointments since then, including Heineken Cup and Aviva Premiership losses, but that won’t be on their mind at Sandy Park on Sunday.

“You can’t think about that too much,” said experienced flanker Dowson.

“Exeter haven’t won a trophy for however many years, but we want to win trophies.

“It’s not about the time it’s taken for us to win one, it’s about us as a group of lads trying to achieve something.”