Saints positioned for success - Dowson
Northampton Saints' Phil Dowson admits that he is frustrated not to have been called up to the England squad.
The 29-year-old captains the Saxons and played against New Zealand Maori in England's final match of the summer tour in Australia and New Zealand.
Dowson told BBC Look East: "At the moment there's not a huge amount I can do except to play well.
"It's frustrating. All the players in the Saxons want to be in the next squad and that's the ambition."
His Saints team-mate Courtney Lawes and Leicester flanker Tom Croft have already been ruled out of England's Six Nations opener against Wales on 4 February.
"Nick Easter, Joe Worsley and James Haskell are in there. They're all good players," he added.
We're well placed in Europe and in the league - they're the fronts we have to keep fighting on
Saints next play Castres in the final pool match of the Heineken Cup, knowing that a win will guarantee them a home quarter-final.
They are third in the Aviva Premiership, six points behind Leicester Tigers with two games in hand.
"Playing away in France is very hard, and Castres haven't lost at home all season. It'll be a good test for us and there's a big reward at the end of it," Dowson continued.
"We're well placed in Europe and in the league, and they're the fronts we have to keep fighting on."