Phil Dowson is a born leader, says England coach Graham Rowntree

England coach Graham Rowntree backs Stuart Lancaster's decision to name Phil Dowson as captain for Barbarians tie

stuart lancaster
Stuart Lancaster named Phil Dowson as England captain for game against Barbarians PA Photos

stuart lancaster

Phil Dowson’s positive reaction to losing his place during the Six Nations is the reason why he will captain England against the Barbarians on Sunday, according to forwards coach Graham Rowntree.

Number eight Dowson, who plies his trade for Northampton, has been given the nod to skipper England with Chris Robshaw, captain for all five Six Nations matches, playing in the Premiership final on Saturday for Harlequins against Leicester.

Dowson started England’s first two matches during the Six Nations, against Scotland and Italy, but lost his place to Ben Morgan, who went on to establish himself as one of the stars of the competition.

Morgan is currently recovering from a hamstring injury so Dowson was sure to start in the non-cap international at Twickenham, and he has been selected as captain ahead of Saints teammate Dylan Hartley.

And Rowntree believes the former England Saxons captain is one of the senior figures in the dressing room.

“Phil is one of the key members of our leadership group,” said Rowntree.

“He coped with the disappointment [of losing his place in the team] very well.

“There are a few guys we could give the captaincy to but we feel Dows is right for this game. This is a proper game, as intense and as big as a Six Nations game for us.”

© Sportsbeat 2012

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