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Jack Nowell energised by prospect of England meeting Eddie Jones' demands

Jack Nowell is energised by the prospect of England meeting Eddie Jones' high fitness and playing demands.

England head coach Jones says his players' fitness is adequate for the RBS 6 Nations, but must improve for next summer's tour of his native Australia.

Exeter wing Nowell, by his own admission, is a Cornish pasty fan, and he has added 10kg in weight in recent years.

But that move from 85kg to 95kg was added muscle bulk and followed knee surgery.

"I was training like old man," said Nowell, who missed the 2014 tour to New Zealand as a result of the operation.

"I'm a completely different player now. I'm bigger now. Anything can happen if get hands on the ball. (And I am) more confident in defence now."

Jones' vision of an England playing free-flowing rugby and keeping the ball in play may be at odds with his first match - a 15-9 win over Scotland in Edinburgh last Saturday - but suits Nowell, one of two England try-scorers at Murrayfield.

And Italy could be the first to feel the impact of Jones' tinkering.

"I like the sound of that because I like to come off my wing and get my hands on the ball as much as possible," Nowell added.

"I want to get my hands on the ball as much as possible and if I am absolutely knackered I won't be able to do that.

"We have worked hard on our breakdown this week and getting that speed of ball."

Equally, the pragmatic approach favoured by Jones in Edinburgh will be accepted by Nowell.

"First things first is to win the game," he added.

"If you said to me we scored four tries off a driving maul and I touched the ball once and we won the game, I'd take that any day of the week."

A hint of the future was evident in Edinburgh when replacement prop Mako Vunipola's deft handling made space for Nowell's try.

"Mako's got a lot of skills," Nowell said.

"Some of the passes he does in training are pretty ridiculous.

"It wasn't a surprise. He's a very skilful player.

"If we can get all our forwards doing that, that's going to put us backs in very positive positions going forward."


From Belfast Telegraph