- Nowell's rise is no surprise for former coach
- I knew he had the talent for the top – Churcher
Photo: Getty Images
Truro College coach Marek Churcher says he is not shocked by the rapid ascension of 20 year old Exeter Chiefs wing and former Truro pupil Jack Nowell into the England senior team for the Six Nations.
The Newlyn born son of a trawlerman, who helped the England U20 side to a Junior World Championship win in the summer, has been in blistering form for his club of late and Churcher is certain he will be a real catch for England.
He said: “Personally I’m not at all surprised by his inclusion. From when I first saw him when he was 14 I knew he had the talent to go to the top.
“He always had that X-factor with his bright boots and the hair. He just had that bit extra and everything has gone for him and the best thing about him as a player is that he is well grounded about it all.
“When he first started playing here at Truro you could see he just loved the space, he was always looking to beat the first defender and still looks to do that. I think his stats will show that he’s pretty good at it too!
“16-18 is a critical time in a player’s career. We looked to work on his skillset so that he was comfortable in every position. He played full back, fly half, centre and wing for us. In fact he played mostly at centre for us and I can remember playing in the Sanix Tournament in Japan with everyone saying ‘Wow who’s that centre you’ve got?”
Photo: Getty Images
While Nowell’s natural talent was clearly visible, there were aspects of his game that needed tweaking, most notably in the physicality departments.
“There were aspects to work on. He wasn’t the biggest of lads, in fact he looked more like a footballer when he first came,” said Exeter Chiefs academy coach Churcher.
“So we had to work on him physically, and his kicking game needing improving as well. He always had natural ability and a natural running action, but we wanted to make sure he was a rounded player who was comfortable in any position.
“As a college we’re very proud of him, and I’m sure that both he and Luke [Cowan-Dickie, also ex-Truro College] will play for a long time together at the top.”
This season has been a memorable one for Truro. They are still in with a shout at the play offs in a highly competitive AASE league south, and pupils both past and present are landing themselves with professional opportunities at The Exeter Chiefs, Cornish Pirates and Plymouth Albion.
Churcher added: “It reflects the strength of rugby in the area. At Chiefs we’re able to work with players at U15 and U16 level, which means that they are already quality players when they come to Truro.”