JACK Nowell started the year outside England’s squad but he can end it as a Red Rose hero – according to Rugby World Cup winner Jason Robinson, writes Chris Bailey.

A knee injury served to scupper the promising start in an England shirt last year for the man from Newlyn, but after impressive displays on both the wing and in the centres for Exeter Chiefs, he was never going to be far from Stuart Lancaster’s plans.

The England boss slotted him back into the starting XV for the loss against Ireland at this year’s Six Nations and it’ll now take some doing to stop him from starting the World Cup opener against Fiji on September 18.

However Robinson, who starred as England lifted the Webb Ellis Cup back in 2003, admits there are fine margins between the likes of Nowell, Anthony Watson, Jonny May and Chris Ashton for the two starting spots on the wing.

“Jack Nowell is a great player,” said Land Rover ambassador Robinson, speaking an event at Guy Salmon Stockport on Saturday during Rugby World Cup 2015 Trophy Tour.

“He’s had a few injuries which held him back a bit, but he’s very versatile.

“He’s very hard working, got great feet and been in great form. So you know he’s going to be one of the key wingers for England for Rugby World Cup 2015 and I hope he does well.

“I think out of those five wingers it’s going to be Anthony Watson and also Nowell, I’d probably start them. But when it comes to the wingers, I don’t think there’s much between them all.

“It’s going to come down to performance. It’s all about making a difference whether you’ve got the ball in hand or not, and ultimately as a winger you want to score.

“So there’s great competition and hopefully, may the best winger get the shirt. Having known what it’s like to play in these big games, I know it’s a great opportunity for these guys, and if they get it right, if they work hard, and they score tries, they’ll create memories that will live with them forever.”

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