Cornwall’s Jack Nowell is ready to play his part for England in Saturday’s crucial Six Nations match against Ireland at Twickenham.
The Exeter Chiefs wing has been selected for his third consecutive start by head coach Stuart Lancaster and he is determined to continue his impressive progress on the international stage.
“The first two games that I played in will give me some confidence for the third one,” he said. “I felt pretty settled as soon as I came into the squad to be honest. Obviously, I didn’t have a cap and not many of the boys knew who I was.
“But I felt welcomed straight away and, after the first two games, I will be going into this one feeling a lot more comfortable.
“It was a big thing for me coming into this squad and playing with these players. I was a bit nervous.”
It will be Nowell’s first England game at Twickenham, although he played in Exeter Chiefs’ 22-6 loss to Harlequins at England rugby headquarters in December.
He said: “We played Big Game Six at Twickenham against Harlequins recently but the crowd weren’t cheering for the Chiefs that day.
“That was an amazing experience, but I’m really looking forward to hearing the home crowd – the boys go on about it and so does Stuart Lancaster.
“Ireland will know it is our home ground as well and our supporters play a big part in making it more difficult for other teams.
“Obviously, it will be a bit different to Murrayfield against Scotland in our last game. We know what the pitch is like and we’re looking forward to a quick game.”
Nowell will have some stellar names opposing him in the Irish back line. However, he will concentrate on his own game rather than worrying about the likes of Rob Kearney, Brian O’Driscoll, Gordon D’Arcy and Jonathan Sexton.
He said: “We play alongside some top-quality players in our team as well and, for me, it is just about concentrating on my game and not letting opponents change my focus.”
Nowell, who has caught the eye with his willingness to work off his wing, always believed his approach to the game would pay off.
“For me, it has always been about the idea that working for something gives you more opportunities,” he told RFU Podcast. “I knew, if I worked hard at college, I would get a contract at Exeter, then it was working hard to get into the first team and being part of the European games.
“It has just been goals after goals, with playing for England Under-20s as well. Once you’ve hit them, there is only one place you want to go. You want to play for the England seniors.”