Dowson enjoying step up to elite
June 19, 2005

Newcastle back row and Sevens specialist Phil Dowson is delighted to be involved with England's Churchill Cup campaign.

The Falcons' and England 7s star, who was called up after competing in the London leg of the international Sevens tournament earlier this month, has been named in the side for Sunday's clash with Canada at the Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton.

"This is the first time I've been with the senior team and its quite a big deal for me. So far its been very enjoyable," commented Dowson.

"With so many players away with the Lions it gives every player here a massive opportunity to put their marker down and for the coaches to get to know them whilst they are on tour. It's something everyone will grasp with both hands.

"I went to school with James Simpson-Daniel and I have a few friends in the squad from my involvement with England Sevens here, so its been quite easy to fit in. 'Taity' (Mathew Tait) is on the tour from my club and he likes to have somebody else from Newcastle around. We get on very well together and it's nice to have a little bit of north east crack now and again.


"My time away with the Sevens has been very important. It's made me a better player and given me the chance of travelling away with the England set up around the world and I've played in loads of different environments and its improved my game no end.

"Because I wasn't involved with the Barbarians game I'm concentrating on getting to know the system used with the squad and learning from the coaches as much as I can. I'm delighted to be starting in this first game and will go full on at it.

"I saw the Canadians play against a very good Welsh side last week. They were very physical and confrontational and they compete very heavily at the break down. They've got some big tacklers and they are playing at home so it's going to be a good match.

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