Dowson salutes Smith as fly-half continues to show his class for Saints
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The 21-year-old has made a huge impression since moving to Northampton back in October last year.
And he showed his class once again last Sunday with a man of the match performance in the impressive 34-19 success against Exeter Chiefs.
Smith was superb from the tee and in open play as he not only created opportunities but also stopped Exeter in their tracks with some strong defensive work.
And Dowson has been extremely happy with how the youngster has performed since switching to Saints.
"He's very mature, very driven but he's also very popular within the group," Dowson said.
"He's a big part of the squad so we're really impressed with him.
"We watched him a lot before we signed him because he was someone we were really interested in.
"Clearly 10 is such a pivotal position and you're always looking for the next one.
"He was someone we flagged very early on, someone we watched a lot and we're delighted he's here with us."
Smith has racked up 24 appearances so far and faced some big challenges during his time at Saints, coming up against plenty of established fly-halves in the Gallagher Premiership.
And he is set for another big match-up on Saturday as the black, green and gold go to Leicester Tigers, who have World Cup winner Handrè Pollard in their ranks.
"It's exactly where Fin wants to be and it's where the team wants to be," Dowson said.
"We want to be at the top table and we want to be challenging ourselves against the best players in the world."