Exeter Chiefs’ not-so-secret weapon Jack Nowell is determined to take a measured approach to facing Aviva Premiership leaders Harlequins this weekend.
The Cornish teenager’s form this season in the Premiership, Heineken Cup and LV= Cup has seen his notoriety rise in recent months.
Nowell, 19, is one of ten players under the age of 23 to be nominated for this season’s LV= Cup Breakthrough Player award.
His try-scoring performance in last weekend’s Premiership win over London Welsh also impressed but he is keen to ensure any youthful exuberance is kept in check at The Stoop on Saturday. He said: “Obviously, they are the league leaders and a very good team.
“Quins are very dangerous all around the park. Their defence is very good, but their attacking rugby is very strong. They have a good back three and their wingers are dangerous. I have to stay level-headed if I am involved and just go there and play my normal game.”
Chiefs will travel with renewed belief after ending a five-game winless run in the Premiership last weekend.
“We had a few tough games up at Sale and Saracens – no one here likes losing,” he said. “We would have liked the win to have come sooner but to get it now hopefully means we can get back on track.
“Every week, whether we win or lose, we have stuff to work on. We get positives from every week, even the defeats as well. We just have to stay level-headed.”
Nowell’s maturity has been matched by his hard work on and off the pitch, from making his senior debut for Redruth in National League One in 2010 to loan spells with Plymouth Albion and Cornish Pirates in the Championship.
“It just proves that it all pays off,” said Nowell. “When we are placed at our loan clubs you can get a bit downhearted but it gives you the chance to play with new people and use the skills we develop here. To be called back up and play the games I’ve been playing at the moment has been really good.
“For a lot of us younger players, we just have remember how old we are.
“We have only just come out of school and we have to take everything as a positive and keep going forward because we still have a lot to learn.
“It just shows what can be done. It doesn’t seem to matter how old you are, if you go out there and perform every week, you can do it.”
Even the positional switch from full-back to wing has been handled with ease. Nowell said: “Moving to the wing is a similar position in many ways but it can also be very different, especially in defence.
“I have been looking at videos and other players at the club like Gonzalo Camacho, learning from them and taking it from there.”