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England's Jack Nowell revels in fine defensive work

David Rogers/Getty Images

England wing Jack Nowell takes as much pleasure from his try-saving tackle on Ireland centre Robbie Henshaw as he does from touching down.

Nowell raced across from the opposite side of the pitch before executing the perfect challenge on Henshaw, who appeared to be destined for crossing in the right corner at a key stage of the match.

England went on to win 21-10, setting up a title clash against Wales on Saturday week, with the 22-year-old's determination to chase down Henshaw typifying a muscular shift in defence from the hosts.

"I definitely did get a lot of joy out of that. It is something a bit different," Nowell said. "We work very hard on defence and to be put in a position where I have to give it my all to stop a try was absolutely important to me.

"I did have a little check on the screen because you're not too sure where the ball is or if his leg was in. I did actually think the ball was on top of me but luckily I got him into touch.

"We work very hard on our back-field cover and that was just the job I had to do. I was probably in the right place at the right time.

"I always try to put myself in those positions if we have a line break against us. Our defence has been very good this year so I have hardly ever had any against us."

England's attack took a step forward against Ireland, but Nowell knows they should have run in more tries than the two scored by Anthony Watson and Mike Brown.

"We felt we got into the 22 a lot but our conversion rate wasn't great. I feel we left a couple of tries out there and we did change that in the second half.

"The most important thing for us is to come away with points and when we spin it wide we go over.

"We know what we want to do and what we need to do and sometimes that doesn't work.

"We still have a lot of work to do as a squad but it will take time. We are showing positives signs of it week in week out."