Red Bull’s Decoding Athletes returns for a second six-part series featuring England Rugby and Exeter Chiefs star, Jack Nowell.
Fill Your Boots – What can we expect in the second series of the Decoding Athletes podcast?
Jack Nowell – The Decoding Athletes podcast is essentially an access all areas into my life both on and off the pitch. I’m joined by some of my closest teammates, friends and even my mum to find out what it is like as a pro athlete – whilst having a bit of fun as well! Listeners can expect some funny stories and a deeper look into some of my own experiences from my childhood right through to life now as a professional rugby player.
FYB – What did it feel like to win both European and domestic championships with the Exeter Chiefs last year?
Jack Nowell – For me personally it was a career highlight – and that’s why I wanted to contribute despite being in pain with the toe injury. The team really dug deep to get both of those trophies back into the changing rooms and it has been great to reflect on an incredible season over two competitions. Gaining success in Europe was the one thing missing and it was huge achievement for the team – including Henry Slade and Luke Cowan-Dickie, who both feature in the first episode of the podcast. Listeners can expect lots of banter between us, usually making fun of Slade’s bad breath or hairstyle choices! I have known Luke since I was five years old and played with Henry since I was about 16, so we have been extremely lucky to go through our rugby journey together. To win on both fronts last year was a special moment for us all.
FYB – How has your latest injury recovery been?
Jack Nowell – I’m feeling good. I’d be the first to admit that I’ve rushed back from injuries in the past, but it’s all part of the learning experience. I have had nine operations and I think the toughest part is often recovering mentally. Even as a child, I wasted so much of my time worrying to the point that I could not sleep well, so moving forward, I am going to try and let loose a bit more and not stress about injuries so that I can focus on enjoying the game. I think this mentality certainly comes from maturing more as a player.
FYB – What are your ambitions for 2021?
Jack Nowell – Regaining a spot in the England squad is a big target for me this season. I’m desperate to get back into England contention and I’ve been working so hard to get myself in the best possible position to stake my claim for a place. It is going to be tough – there are some top, top players in the England set up at the minute, but I am confident I can work my way back into the team. I never quit, so I’ll be giving my absolute all to get back there.
Another big focus for me is the British and Lions Tour of South Africa this year. Just knowing how special it is to be involved with the Lions has given me a real hunger to take part in the tour again. I definitely feel like I’ve got a lot more to give on this Lions Tour, so I need to ensure I perform at my best level for Exeter Chiefs first to achieve that.
FYB – Is there a plan for life after rugby?
Jack Nowell – Coming from a hard-working family where my old man is a fisherman, I never considered rugby as a career and now I have been solely focused on the sport for nearly ten years now. Retirement is obviously something I think about now I have a family, but I don’t have a clue what I’d want to do just yet. When that time comes, I want to park rugby and try something completely different. I am still young and fit so hopefully there is something out there I can discover and love just as much as I do with rugby. Having the surfer Mick Fanning join us on the podcast to discuss his own experience of retirement was a real pinch me moment. Coming from a childhood of surfing in Cornwall, I have always been a big fan and admire his career! Watch this space…
Subscribe to Decoding Athletes Series 2, starting from 18th February with new episodes released each week. You can listen to the Decoding Athletes podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Amazon Podcasts.