Dowson hails Hendy as talented Saints back signs new contract
Hendy has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign for the black, green and gold, making 13 appearances to take his total tally to 25.
He would have played more had it not been for the injury he suffered in the Investec Champions Cup win against Toulon in December.
But Hendy is now closing in on a return to full fitness and he has shown he can be a key player during the run-in.
Dowson has been hugely impressed with the 21-year-old's progression.
And the Saints boss said: "This was an important season for George.
“We’ve always seen glimpses of what he is capable of – the length-of-the-field try away at Saracens sticks in the memory in particular – but this year he’s become an incredibly consistent performer, which is impressive in a guy of his age.
“He’s very fast, very powerful, and never afraid of running full tilt into contact.
"Over the last year, the time George spent playing at Bedford Blues was very beneficial – playing week in, week out and learning his trade, understanding more of the nuances of playing in the back three.
“He has come on leaps and bounds, and last summer he came back in for pre-season absolutely desperate to make himself a regular starter for Saints.
“For the first half of the season before his injury, he did just that, and was influencing games in a big way on both sides of the ball, particularly in attack with his ability to run with the ball and beat defenders.
“George is also a great character in the squad; he takes a bit of stick but he’s got a great sense of humour and gets stuck in with the group, while also being a great professional in terms of trying to improve his game.
"He’s got a really high ceiling, so we’re thrilled to keep him at the club moving forwards.”