Full name Philip David Acton Dowson
Born October 1, 1981, Guildford
Current age 33 years 200 days
Major teams England A, Newcastle Falcons, Northampton Saints, England, England XV
Height 6 ft 3 in
Weight 242 lb
|Test debut||Scotland v England at Murrayfield, Feb 4, 2012 match details|
|Last Test||South Africa v England at Port Elizabeth, Jun 23, 2012 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Tournament list|
Dowson rose to international prominence during the 2009-10 season and was handed his first senior start in England's non-Test clash against the New Zealand Maori in June 2010, having been called up from the England Saxons squad contesting that year's Churchill Cup.
His selection capped an outstanding year where his consistent excellence helped Northampton secure the Anglo-Welsh Cup crown and also saw him shortlisted for both the Guinness Premiership Player of the Season and RPA Players' Player of the Season.
His early days were as a mini at Wigton, a Cumbrian club, but his schooldays at Sedbergh shaped his rugby future and selection for the England School side pointed to his potential. He joined the Newcastle Academy in 2001-02 and was a stalwart for the Premiership club, featuring in their 2004 Powergen Cup victory, until opting for a switch to Northampton ahead of the 2009-10 season.
Dowson's game went to another level at Franklin's Gardens and he played an integral role in the club's emergence as one of the most exciting sides in European rugby. However, full England honours continued to elude him and he again had to make do with a place in the Saxons squad for the 2011 clashes with Italy 'A' and the Irish Wolfhounds.
A losing effort with the Saints in the Heineken Cup final was followed by omission from the England squad for the Rugby World Cup, although Dowson emerged as a leadership figure under Stuart Lancaster's new England regime. He began the 2012 Six Nations at No.8 and despite losing his spot to Ben Morgan and later Thomas Waldrom - on tour to South Africa - his England dream was finally realised.