Ellis and Dawson enjoyed some fiery confrontations earlier this year when Leicester took on Wasps in two titanic Heineken Cup ties.
But they are now team-mates in the same camp and their close relationship serves as a constant reminder to Ellis that he is a long way from making the England number nine jersey his own.
"It has been highly competitive but it is nice to be working alongside the other guys, not against them," said Ellis, 22, who will start his third consecutive RBS 6 Nations game when England take on Italy.
"We are fighting for the same team, the same corner and we are just trying to help each other along.
"It has been great to work with Daws for the last couple of weeks and the same with Andy Gomarsall when he is here. You learn from these players.
"You play against these quality players every week, and then to be in the same camp and working alongside them is the special thing about being involved with England. You are constantly learning."