Teenager Nowell still buzzing after making London Irish debut
Jack Nowell is hoping to build on his Exeter Chiefs league debut – starting against Wasps this weekend.
The 19-year-old was picked on the wing for last Sunday's 27-23 win at London Irish, Exeter's first on the road in the Aviva Premiership this term.
Retaining his place is not going to be easy as Gonzalo Camacho has returned from international duty with Argentina and is available for selection for Saturday's match at Sandy Park (5.30pm).
However, Nowell says he will continue to work hard in training and play his natural game in the hope head coach Rob Baxter will pick him on a regular basis. "I've had my head down in training, I've been doing what I've been doing and hopefully I'll get the nod again," he said.
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"There's a lot of competition and whoever Rob and [assistant coach] Ali [Hepher] decide to go with will be a good decision. Hopefully I can get some more games now."
Last weekend's win was a fourth in a row for the Chiefs in all competitions, following their victory against Worcester in the Premiership and two LV= Cup successes.
While it was a first triumph away from Sandy Park in the league, Exeter are the only top-flight team with a 100 per cent home record this season.
Nowell and his team-mates are keen to keep that record going against Wasps, who are two places and one point behind sixth-placed Chiefs.
"It's about backing ourselves up from last weekend," he said. "We got our first away win and we've got some sort of record going now at home."
England under-20s full-back Nowell was one of the stand-out performers in Exeter's two wins in the LV= Cup and earned his place in the starting line-up last weekend. He was named in an unaccustomed position on the wing in the second cup clash against the Ospreys and donned the number 14 jersey again against London Irish.
Backs coach Ali Hepher and skills coach Ricky Pellow – who helped bring Nowell through Exeter's academy – told the youngster to play his normal game. He said: "Speaking to Ricky and Ali, they said to go out there and play my game, do what I've been doing."
Nowell came within a whisker of crowning his Premiership debut with a try as he chased his own kick ahead with five minutes to go, only to knock the ball on over the line as he went to dive on it. "I'm still telling everyone it was a try and I did put it down but the more times I watch it the more it looks like I knocked it on," he said. "It would have been nice to get the try – the icing on the cake."