New roles for Dowson and Dickens as Saints confirm coaching structure
Saints have confirmed their coaching team for next season, with Phil Dowson taking up the role of forwards coach and Alan Dickens becoming defence mentor.
There was uncertainty around what positions Dowson and Dickens would be given by new boss Chris Boyd.
Dowson started out as a transition coach after retiring from playing last summer and eventually became defence coach, taking over from Mark Hopley, who is now Academy head coach.
Dickens was interim head coach following Jim Mallinder's departure as director of rugby in December, having previously held roles as attack coach and defence coach.
The former scrum-half will now revert back to the latter, while Dowson will fill the void left by long-serving Dorian West, who vacated his position as forwards coach this summer.
As previously confirmed, Sam Vesty will be switching to Saints from Worcester Warriors as backs and attack coach.
Matt Ferguson, who has spent the past 12 months working with London Irish and has enjoyed a three-year stint working with England Women's team, will arrive as assistant coach, focusing primarily on the scrum.
“I’m thrilled that our coaching setup is now in place with plenty of time to spare before pre-season," said Saints boss Boyd, who will arrive following the conclusion of his commitments with Super Rugby side the Hurricanes this summer.
"I’m confident Alan, Sam, Phil and Matt will complement each other well.
“I said when I took this role that I wanted a young English coaching group, and I’m pleased to have assembled one which is highly motivated and ambitious.”
Saints’ coaching team for the 2018/19 season
Chris Boyd – director of rugby
Alan Dickens – defence coach
Sam Vesty – backs and attack coach
Phil Dowson – forwards coach
Matt Ferguson – assistant coach (scrum)