Nowell relishing defensive duties

Date published: March 1 2016

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 27:  Jack Nowell of England is tackled by Conor Murray of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations match between England and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium on February 27, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Scoring tries and preventing opponents from crossing the whitewash are equally important for England winger Jack Nowell.

That was the word from the Exeter Chiefs flyer after his try-saving tackle prevented Ireland’s Robbie Henshaw from dotting down in their Six Nations clash at Twickenham at the weekend.

“I definitely did get a lot of joy out of that,” Nowell told Press Association.

“It is something a bit different.

“We work very hard on defence and to be put in a position where I have to give it my all to stop a try was absolutely important to me.”

Nowell revealed that his superb tackle was down to the effort he puts into his defensive duties during training sessions.

“I did have a little check on the screen because you’re not too sure where the ball is or if his leg was in,” he added.

“I did actually think the ball was on top of me but luckily I got him into touch.

“We work very hard on our back-field cover and that was just the job I had to do. I was probably in the right place at the right time.”

The 22-year-old also feels that they need to convert territory into points when within striking distance.

“We felt we got into the 22 a lot but our conversion rate wasn’t great,” said Nowell.

“I feel we left a couple of tries out there and we did change that in the second half.

“The most important thing for us is to come away with points and when we spin it wide we go over.

The back-line player, who prefers the full-back position over the winger, has relished defending tries as much as scoring them.

“I always try to put myself in those positions if we have a line break against us. Our defence has been very good this year so I have hardly ever had any against us.”

“We know what we want to do and what we need to do and sometimes that doesn’t work.

“We still have a lot of work to do as a squad but it will take time. We are showing positives signs of it week in week out.”

England will host Wales at Twickenham this coming weekend, in what is viewed as the title decider.

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