Northampton's Jim Mallinder hails Dowson and Dickson

Northampton Saints director Jim Mallinder has praised England pair Phil Dowson and Lee Dickson after their international debuts.

The duo helped England to a 13-6 win over Scotland in the Calcutta Cup.

Mallinder told BBC Look East: "Phil has been so consistent in his career. Hopefully he can get many more [caps].

"Lee is a competitor, I'm sure that in training he's reminding Stuart Lancaster what a great player he is and we'll see who the selectors pick."

Dowson may face pressure to hold on to the starting XV jersey for England's Six Nations match against Italy, with Scarlets number 8 Ben Morgan pressing for inclusion.

Meanwhile, there was relief for scrum-half Dickson after a fractured hand sustained at Murrayfield was deemed not to be as serious as first feared, meaning he is available for the second match of the tournament.

"The selectors had the confidence to go with Phil, which is great," said Mallinder.

"It wasn't an error-free performance from him by any means, but he put in a lot of good defensive work and if he plays well, there's no reason why he can't keep the jersey.

"I think Lee has a massive chance [to start for England]. He got the knock to his hand and thought that could be his Six Nations over. It's not and that's fantastic for him."

Meanwhile, Mallinder says that forward Courtney Lawes could feature in the squad that faces Gloucester in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday, as he returns from a knee injury.

"Courtney is doing really well, he's making a good recovery and training at the moment. There's a chance he'll make this weekend for us.

"Tom Wood is a little further behind. Hopefully, in the next few weeks, we'll see him back."

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