Six Nations 2014: Jack Nowell targets England spot at World Cup
Six Nations 2014: Exeter Chiefs wing Jack Nowell targets a spot in England's World Cup squad
Jack Nowell has put earning a place at next year’s Rugby World Cup as among his long-term goals.
The 20-year-old Exeter Chiefs star started all five of England’s Six Nations games on the right wing and scored his maiden international try in the final match against Italy in an impressive outing.
I want to get back into that England squad as soon as possible, but right now I need to help my club
While injuries to Marland Yarde and Christian Wade gave Nowell the opportunity to shine for the Red Rose, his Premiership club were making history despite his absence as they won their first trophy for 143 years with LV=Cup final victory over league leaders Northampton Saints on Sunday..
But now the Six Nations is over the winger isn’t taking his place for granted as he returns to club duty.
“The World Cup is definitely one of my goals,” Nowell told Exeter Express and Echo. “I have got a good place to start, and going into this season I never thought I was going to get a chance like this.
“As soon as I got the chance for England, I think that made me drive forward and keep aiming high for more.
“I have to come back with the Chiefs first though and help the team end on a high. I think getting my place back is going to be tough – [Fetu’u Vainikolo] and [Matt Jess] played very well at the weekend.
“I have a couple of training days to try and get back into the team but, at the end of the day, the boys are winning.
“I just want to concentrate on getting to the end of this season, then who knows what will happen?
“I want to get back into that England squad as soon as possible, but right now I need to help my club.”
Nowell’s rise has been sharp. Just nine months ago he starred for England in their 23-15 Junior World Cup final win against Wales in Vannes – scoring the first of England’s two tries as they came from 15-3 down at the break.
Making his senior international debut at the age of 20 at the Stade de France fulfilled a childhood dream, but the level-headed Truro-born Chiefs back has not been daunted by the experience of playing on the world stage in front of some of world rugby’s most vociferous crowds.
“The last couple of months have been absolutely ridiculous,” he added. “It has been an absolutely amazing experience. Obviously I would have loved to be in the [LV=Cup] final, but one of my dreams since I was a little kid was to be involved with England.
“I think, for me, my ability to get over things developed a lot. I made a couple of mistakes in the first game, but I managed to get over that straight away, forget about it and not let it affect my game – I think that is what made the coaches happy.”
With England pushing to put 50 points on Italy to keep their Six Nations title ambitions alive, not even the glory of scoring his first try is enough to move him to selfishness. It may have been the last try of a match that was already over, but Nowell conceded he’d happily swap a try for a team win.
“The try [against Italy] was one of our set moves so I knew I was going to get my hands on the ball then,” he continued.
“If I didn’t get over in that move then I was never going to get over so I was delighted to score it. That will be a memory that will stick with me for years.
“I didn’t really feel any pressure to score though. A lot of people asked me, but at the end of the day I was just happy to be winning with the team.
“It is always nice to be scoring tries but as long as the team is winning, that is the most important thing.”