NEWLYN'S Jack Nowell said a childhood dream had come true when his selection for England's Six Nations squad was confirmed.
The 20-year-old, a product of Penzance & Newlyn's mini junior rugby section, has been named in Stuart Lancaster's 35-man squad and hopes to make his senior debut when the Six Nations begins next month.
He said: "Obviously I'm amazed by the news, it's something I've wanted ever since I was a little kid.
"There had been a lot of talk beforehand that I could be involved, but without being rude to people I just tried not to pay attention to it all.
"To find out the news and be named in the squad is certainly a big honour and it's like a dream come true for me."
Nowell said his father, Michael, a Newlyn fishing skipper, had not heard of the news for a couple of days because he had been out at sea.
"I think he knows now," said Nowell. "My parents will be very pleased for me and I have to thank them because they have supported me all the way."
Nowell, who went to Mounts Bay School, progressed to Truro College where he took a BTEC in Sport Performance and Excellence.
He also undertook the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellent programme, which is designed to meet the needs of young people between 16 and 18 who have the potential to achieve excellence in rugby while pursuing an education at the same time.
Nowell made his senior debut for Redruth in 2010-11 before gaining experience on loan with Plymouth Albion the following season.
Nowell, who has become a regular starter with Exeter Chiefs over the last 12 months, tasted international success with England Under-20s last season in both the Six Nations and Junior World Championships alongside club-mates Slade, Conlon, Sam Hill and Luke Cowan-Dickie.
Nowell said: "It all started really from the Junior World Cup and getting the win out there.
"I came back from there and Rob Baxter (Exeter head coach) gave me a little bit of time off after that to get myself right again.
"At the time I was a little frustrated because I wanted to be playing, but to get back playing and in the Chiefs squad again was massive for me and it's helped me get to the position I find myself in now."
Nowell added: "The thing that's funny is when I was growing up the only people from Cornwall that seemed to get into the squads were props, people like Phil Vickery and Trevor Woodman.
"So it shows that rugby down here is getting better and the stepping stones we do take are in place."