21st February 2014
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The 20-year-old Exeter Chiefs star has again been named in Stuart Lancaster's starting XV for their latest Six Nations encounter against Ireland.

Fresh from victory away to Scotland a fortnight ago at Murrayfield, England will now be looking to throw a spanner in the works of the visiting Irish, who themselves have yet to taste defeat in this season's competition following wins over the Scots and Wales.

For Nowell, tomorrow's match not only represent a first-ever international start at the home of English rugby, but the Cornishman has the chance to further cement his game on the mind of head coach Lancaster.

Poised and ready to collect his third cap, Nowell admits the nerves of the opening two weeks - which included a tough baptism against the French in Paris - have somewhat faded thanks to the help of his England colleagues.

“The first two games that I played in will give me some confidence for this third one," said Nowell. "To be honest, I felt pretty settled as soon as I came into the squad. 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.

“At the time it was a big thing for me coming into this squad and playing with these players and I was a bit nervous. However, we played Big Game Six at Twickenham against Harlequins recently and that was an amazing experience. Now, I’m really looking forward to hearing the home crowd – the boys go on about it and so does Stuart Lancaster."

Standing in the way of Nowell and the English will be an Ireland side packed with household names, many of whom have proven themselves on the international stage.

Nowell added: “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.

“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."

Certainly Nowell - a product of the hugely successful Chiefs' Academy structure - is keen to prove his worth, whilst at the same time demonstrating once more that - with hard work - you can achieve your ambitions and fulfill your dreams.

 “For me, it has always been about the idea that working for something gives you more opportunities,” he continued. “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.”

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