And the Northampton number nine only seems to get feistier with age as he looks to ward off suitors to his white shirt.
He has always faced serious competition from Kyran Bracken for the half-back position.
But a third force, in the shape of Andy Gomarsall, has emerged.
Gomersall's vigour and enterprise as third choice scrum-half in Australia was impressive.
But Dawson has thrown down the gauntlet to any potential replacement.
He said: "I like to play rugby in a pressure environment.
"A lot of what I do is unseen by anyone else because of the way a game evolves.
"It might be an important call or a general slap on the backside to a forward that gives them momentum.
"It might be communicating in some other way and not necessarily an obvious run, kick or break.
"The big pressure games are when you need those bits and pieces to come to the fore."
And forward Neil Back is just as pugnacious about his international future, insisting no-one should underestimate the resolve of England's 'Dad's Army'.
He said: "Why retire when you are on top of the world? This England squad is confident of winning every game it plays.
"I'm not nervous because I never get nervous, You've got to ask yourself have you got the ability.
"If you can tick that box and then tick the one headed conditioning, which we all can, what's there to be nervous about?"