- 2013 LV= Breakthough Player winner Jack Nowell called into EPS
- Follows inaugural winner Jonny May into the England fold
Photo: Getty Images
First it was Jonny May and now it is Jack Nowell – both the last two LV= Breakthrough Player Award winners have made the step up to the England fold.
Nowell, a Junior World Championship-winner with England Uunder 20 last summer, burst onto the scene in last year’s LV= Cup and this season has kicked on with starring roles for Exeter in both the Premiership and the Heineken Cup.
May meanwhile made his England debut last summer on their tour of Argentina and with the RBS 6 Nations, around the corner, both are in Stuart Lancaster’s squad competing for a place on the wing.
According to Lewis Moody, the LV= Cup has played a huge role in establishing these young flyers on the international radar.
“Now we are really starting to see these guys break through, Jonny May, Jack Nowell, Luke Wallace,” said the Rugby World Cup winner.
“The LV= Cup deserves a massive pat on the back, these are the guys that we have been talking about in this competition for a couple of years now.
“And now they are in the England squad, they have made that step up and one of the reasons for that is that they got their opportunity in the LV.
“Of course there are many other reasons and it is up to a player to take that chance but they were offered a place and now look what they are achieving.”
Nowell’s rise to prominence is remarkable when you consider that the winger-cum-full-back has only made 16 career appearances for the Chiefs first XV.
Photo: Getty Images
He is just a fantastic all-round talent who fully deserves his chance – Dave Lewis
But the flyer’s teammate at Sandy Park Dave Lewis has warned the watching world that the Chiefs’ production line of talent is only just warming up.
“I was not surprised at all when Jack got the call-up,” said the scrum half. “We at the club get to watch him play and train, and he is just a fantastic all-round talent who fully deserves his chance, he’s the in-form winger in the country.
“He has got the ability to beat a player, to make ground for your team, he’s the full package and we’re lucky to have him on our team rather than have to play against him.
“It was in the LV= Cup that he made his impact in for the team, Rob has shown that if you prove yourself then you will get you chance.
“And it is like a rota down here, the next young talent seems to appear straight away, there are so many of them coming through.”
One of those highly-rated Chiefs is hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie, Nowell’s teammate for England Under 20 last summer.
And the front-row star admits that watching Nowell’s rise to prominence has only inspired him to try and follow in his footsteps.
“It’s always good that the boys you’ve played with in the Under 20s and Under 18s get the call,” said Cowan-Dickie, who missed the start of the season with a knee injury.
“It was awesome. Nowellsy, Sladey [Henry Slade], Tom Johnson, Dave Ewers – there’s quite a few of the boys here now in the team. It’s good for them to get the call.”
Be part of the rugby family at the LV= Cup Final at Sandy Park, Exeter on March 16. Tickets now are now available at www.ticketmaster.co.uk