TWO former Barnard Castle School boys were yesterday promoted to the senior England squad.

Scrum half Lee Dickson and flanker Calum Clark, both now with Northampton, will be joined by Saints teammate Phil Dowson, a former regular in Newcastle’s back row.

Other ex-Falcons in the squads announced yesterday are Toby Flood, David Wilson, the prop from South Shields, Stockton-born lock Geoff Parling, and scrum half Micky Young, from Hartlepool.

Parling and Young, both with Leicester, are in the England Saxons squad, along with Dickson’s elder brother, Karl, who also went to Barnard Castle School and is now playing at scrum half for Harlequins.

With Courtney Lawes suffering from a knee injury, Parling will initially join the senior squad, who will meet for their pre-RBS Six Nations training camp on Monday, January 23, at West Park Leeds.

Lee Dickson has a Scottish father and in 2007 he was named in both the Scotland A side and the England Saxons squad. He had played for the England U21 team which took the 2006 Six Nations Grand Slam and opted for the Saxons, featuring in the Churchill Cup side.

He made 41 appearances in the Premiership for the Falcons from 2005 to 2008 before making the switch to the Saints. He was also part of the squad which won the 2010 Churchill Cup.

Dickson missed most of the 2010-11 season through injury but has been in top form recently, most notably in Northampton’s win against Harlequins.

Clark’s family home is in Richmond, North Yorkshire, where he initially went to school before switching to Barnard Castle. He played in two IRB Junior World Championships and captained England to the final in 2009.

He began his professional career with Leeds, where he became the youngest forward to appear in the Premiership at 18.

An abrasive and athletic back row forward, he is now 22 and has featured heavily since joining the Saints in the summer of 2010. At 6ft 4in he has also occasionally played at lock.

Clark’s leadership skills have been recognised at Northamtpon and he led the side out for the first time in the LV= Cup match at Saracens.

England’s new head coach Stuart Lancaster said: “We are very excited by the makeup of the two squads. In line with the selection philosophy about starting a new era for English rugby, we have taken the chance to make changes and give players opportunities to be part of the journey towards 2015.

“We have lost some great players in Lewis Moody, Steve Thompson and Jonny Wilkinson and we are looking both at the present and the future. We wanted to get the right balance in potential and experience and giving us the flexibility to play in different ways. We are confident we have got the right mix to take England forward into this Six Nations and beyond.”

Like Parling, Alex Goode (Saracens) will join the senior squad until Flood has recovered from his knee injury.

The Saxons face Ireland at Exeter on January 28 then Scotland A in Galashiels on February 3.

Elite squad: Forwards: Calum Clark, Phil Dowson, Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes, Tom Wood (Northampton), Alex Corbisiero (London Irish), Dan Cole, Tom Croft, Louis Deacon (Leicester), Chris Robshaw, Joe Marler (Harlequins), Lee Mears, David Wilson (Bath), Ben Morgan (Scarlets), Tom Palmer (Stade Francais), Matt Stevens, Mouritz Botha (Saracens), Rob Webber (London Wasps).

Backs: Chris Ashton, Lee Dickson, Ben Foden (Northampton Saints), Mike Brown, Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins), Charlie Hodgson, Owen Farrell, Brad Barritt, David Strettle (Saracens), Toby Flood, Manusamoa Tuilagi, Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers), Joe Simpson (London Wasps), Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby)