Saints star Pearson to stay with England despite missing out on World Cup squad

Tom Pearson won't be heading straight to Saints after missing out on England's Rugby World Cup squad on Monday.
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Black, green and gold boss Phil Dowson says Pearson will instead stay in camp to help the Red Rose prepare for the tournament which starts next month in France.

"He's actually staying in camp," Dowson said on Tuesday afternoon.

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"They've asked to keep him in camp just because of training numbers, he's really keen to stay in camp and we've allowed him to do that.

Tom Pearson (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)Tom Pearson (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Tom Pearson (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

"He really wants to stay there and be involved so as and when they see fit, or when they leave for France, he'll come back to us and we'll decide if he needs a little bit of a break before he integrates with us."

Pearson, who signed for Saints after being left out of work by London Irish's demise, made his first appearance for England last Saturday as they suffered a 20-9 World Cup warm-up defeat to Wales in Cardiff.

Saints skipper Lewis Ludlam also lined up in the back row in that game, earning plenty of plaudits for his performance.

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Ludlam and Courtney Lawes have been named in England's 33-man World Cup squad.

Dowson said: "They (England) got into the opposition 22 plenty against Wales but didn't convert many of those opportunities.

"The one thing I would say is I thought Luds played really well and Tom Pearson on his first cap was very, very busy.

"But it's tough when your team is under a bit of pressure and you're not quite getting what you want."

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The likes of Alex Mitchell and Tommy Freeman have been at Saints during the past few weeks after missing out on England duty.

And while Dowson is delighted to have them around as preparations continue for the start of the new club season, he insists he would love to see them representing their country.

"Clearly it's great to have as many of your players available to you as possible, but at the same time, this is a club where we want to develop people and we want people to achieve their aspirations both with the club and with their country," Dowson said.

"We want to push those guys on so we're delighted people like Courtney and Luds are in the mixer but we're disappointed for people like Fraser (Dingwall), Furbs (George Furbank), Freemo (Tommy Freeman), Mitch (Alex Mitchell) and Tom Pearson, but we'll keep pushing them to get better and they are good lads so they will keep pushing themselves."