Versatile Exeter Chiefs youngster Jack Nowell reaps benefit of game-time in Championship and LV= Cup
Exeter Chiefs full-back Jack Nowell hopes his Aviva Premiership debut has moved a step closer with his fine performances in the LV= Cup.
The 19-year-old looked set to make his first top-flight appearance against London Welsh in September, but he ended the game as Chiefs' only unused replacement.
However, Nowell has continued his good form while dual-registered with Cornish Pirates in the Championship and, lately, with the Chiefs in the LV= Cup.
He was outstanding at full-back against London Welsh at Oxford's Kassam Stadium during a 42-15 Cup win and excelled last weekend on the wing as the Devon side beat Ospreys at Sandy Park.
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Coach Ricky Pellow said: "Jack Nowell has probably been the stand-out player from the last two games. He played at full-back and then we moved him to the wing and he coped with that really well.
"He has been the one that has stood out in the group. Other young players like Henry Slade, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Will Carrick-Smith have all come on as well. They have been physical and strong and showed good game management – they will learn a lot from the games."
The team's performance against the Welsh RaboDirect Pro 12 side last weekend lacked some of the quality from the previous week.
Truro-born Nowell was modest in his assessment of recent performances but thanked the Chiefs' staff and squad for their support.
He said: "Playing full-back and then wing last week has given me a chance to play in different positions. The backing from all the coaches and all the team has been overwhelming.
"It took us a little bit of time to get into it against Ospreys but it got us into the idea of thinking more about our game," he added.
"The boys pulled together really well and, once we did that, we were comfortable and looked really good out there."
Nowell now hopes his Premiership chance will come again. He said: "Definitely. Who wouldn't want that? I think we all want to be in that position.
"I think you have to take every game as a stepping stone. We work up to every game and improve in every match – it's then just up to the coaches on who they pick."
Nowell's progress is all the more remarkable, considering the amount of time he spent recovering from a knee injury, sustained at the start of the year.
"I did have a long time out," he said. "The one good thing was that it let me work on the things I needed to work on.
"I had to use that time wisely, but it has allowed me to come back fitter and stronger."
He has also been grateful for the Championship game-time he has been given at the Pirates this season.
"It has been good," Nowell added. "If we are not needed up here, it just gives us that chance to get some game-time, playing rugby for teams that are very similar to us at Chiefs."