Jack Nowell has revealed team-mates laugh at him for his love of Lego
Nowell is also a 23-year-old man-child who adores Lego. How much? Enough to spend countless hours constructing a VW campervan out of the stuff.
Not just that either. A helicopter. And an aeroplane. And a fishing boat. His house is fast becoming a shrine to plastic brick.
In a week when England’s players were addressed on the negative effects of too much phone time by their new vision coach Sherylle Calder, his addiction should be viewed as comparatively harmless. But his partner does not see it quite that way.
“My girlfriend doesn’t like it because I am cluttering up the house, but I am a big fan of Lego,” said Nowell.
“It’s something that really does completely switch you off. You do find yourself making it for hours, you do one bit and then you want to do the next, then you get excited, turn the page, then you lose a bit and you spend 20 minutes looking for one bit. Simple things make me happy.
“Sometimes you lose about five hours of the day. You start making it at about 2pm and suddenly it’s 7pm and dinner time.
England Rugby's 14-game winning streak
Fri, January 6, 2017
Express Sport recaps England Rugby's unbeaten 2016
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England won every single match they played throughout 2016, and are currently on a 14-game winning run dating back to October 2015
“The boat was a difficult one but I think I like the VW campervan, just because of the doors and the lights. The lights turn on, you lift the roof off and you have the steering wheel, the seats, the pull-out bed – it’s pretty special.”
For his Exeter team-mates, Nowell’s hobby represents an open goal, but the small-scale construction industry is apparently spreading at the Chiefs.
“They find it amusing – they like to take the mick out of me,” said Nowell. “But I think I saw a Lego sculpture that Henry Slade made for Christmas. I think I might be starting something. His mum bought it for him. I think it was Darth Vader.”
England’s most creative outside back has been able to devote more time than he would have wanted this season to his plastic projects because of the torn thigh muscle which kept him out of the autumn Tests. It caused a kerfuffle at the time because it was one of a sequence of injuries to occur at England’s Brighton training camp.
“It was just one of those things that happens. It wasn’t due to impact or anything, it was just running. It could happen to anyone. I was just unlucky,” he said.
“It was a few dark days after that because I’d been out for nine weeks with a thumb injury and I was looking at another nine.”
Jack Nowell has revealed Lego helps him switch off
Sofa time as England extended their winning run to 14 games was no fun. “There were mixed emotions. The main thing is that we carried on winning but obviously I wasn’t involved, I was sitting back watching it and I was frustrated to be watching,” he said.
Back in business now, he is fighting it out with Marland Yarde for a starting place against France – the side he made his England debut against three years ago – ahead of the Six Nations kick-off.
Eddie Jones, who will be at Rosslyn Park versus Loughborough Students today running the rule over next weekend’s referee Angus Gardner, has bracketed the pair as work-rate wings rather than whippets like Jonny May and Anthony Watson, who are facing off for the other starting spot.
“I’m obviously not as quick as Jonny but there are probably very few people who are in the Premiership at the moment,” said Nowell.
“I try to get into positions that enable me to cancel that speed out. People do talk about my pace but at the moment I’m getting into those positions where I’m not being outrun or made to look silly.”
Looking silly? Jack Nowell? Perish the thought.