Jack Nowell was singled out by head coach Stuart Lancaster for special praise after helping England seal their first Triple Crown since 2003 with a 29-18 defeat of Wales at Twickenham.
Lancaster highlighted the 20-year-old’s mental toughness, on just his fourth senior start, against the defending Six Nations champions in a game which could well have decided the destination of this year’s title.
“For a young kid, just 20 years old, to be playing opposition like that and to play like he did, I thought he did really well,” said Lancaster. Indeed, while Nowell has still to add a try to his assured performances for his country, he admitted he is starting to feel very much at home in an England shirt.
He said: “I think the first couple of games there was maybe a bit of nerves there. But you just have to learn to get on with your own game.
“In a way it doesn’t really matter what other people think about you, it just matters what the coaches and the other players want of you. You’ve just got to go out and do what you’re good at, and stick to your game.”
England were largely dominant and scored first-half tries through Danny Care and Luther Burrell, with only the boot of Leigh Halfpenny keeping Wales in it throughout. Nowell was joined on the pitch by his club-mate Tom Johnson in the dying minutes, to cap a memorable day for the Chiefs, following their earlier LV= Cup semi-final win at Bath.
Nowell said: “It was good that the Chiefs got the win. As soon as we came off the pitch Fordy [George Ford] came up to me and said, ‘Did you hear? Chiefs won today’. I was like ‘Get in!’ and went straight over to tell TJ [Johnson]. The boys must have put in a hell of a performance, because you’d need one against Bath. I’m looking forward to seeing the final.”