Exeter Chiefs and Ewers on the right track

Exeter Chiefs youngster Dave Ewers admits even he has been surprised by his progression this season, but the talented 20-year-old insists there is still plenty more to come from him.

Ewers started the season as a relative unknown to many outside Sandy Park, but impressive on-field displays in recent weeks have helped catapult the former Ivybridge Community College student firmly into the first team reckoning with the Aviva Premiership newcomers.

With Cup starts against Montpellier, London Wasps and Newcastle Falcons already under his belt this term, Zimbabwean-born Ewers was on Sunday named among the Chiefs replacements for their home encounter against defending Aviva Premiership champions Leicester Tigers.

It was just reward for the hard graft put in by the hard-nosed back-rower who is seemingly happy to run through brick walls to improve his game.

Although he ended up not been used against the star-studded Tigers, the experience of preparing for such an occasion was one that Ewers clearly savoured.

“I was a little nervous before we went out, but talking to Scays [James Scaysbrook] he just said to do the basics well and if I did get on, stay focused and see how it goes.”

Ewers admits the support he has received from senior figures like Scaysbrook, Richard Baxter and skipper Tom Hayes has helped him to advance his career and improve his all-round play.

“I’m quite excited about my future,” he said. “This season has gone well so far for me and to be part of the first team squad has been great. Now, though, it is down to me to perform well and stay there.

“I’ve worked hard with all the coaches and had a lot of help from the other players, especially Richie Baxter. I’ve tried to work on doing the basics right and getting bad habits out of my game.”

Clearly Ewers has taken on board all he has been told and with a trip to Gloucester next on the horizon for the Chiefs, he hopes to be among the travelling party for this Saturday’s trip up the M5 to Kingsholm.

“As I said, I’m really happy with how things have gone,” said Ewers. “I’m very proud to be here at a place like Exeter, I would not be anywhere else really.

“Being part of the first team has been great and this weekend we have another really hard game up at Gloucester. They have a big following up there and some quality players, but if we could get a win up there, I think that would again put down a big marker for the club and this group of players.”

Although inactive on Sunday, Ewers played the full 80 minutes for the club’s United side, who won 26-25 at Saracens in Monday’s A League fixture at Old Albanians.

Tries from Bryan Rennie, Sam Hill and Chris Bentley, plus a further 11 points from Argentinian fly-half Ignacio Mieres ensured Exeter of only their second victory in the A League this season.

It was another useful run-out for many of the club’s fringe first-team members and Ewers is hoping he did enough to convince head coach Baxter that he can be involved once again this weekend against the Cherry and Whites.

Certainly Baxter has been delighted with the form of Ewers, stating: “Dave is where he is now because he’s not only put in the hard work, but he is showing good form both when he plays and when he trains.

“As I’ve said before, we like to pick players who are on form and right now that is where Dave is at. He did well in both the Cup games against Newcastle and we’ve rewarded that effort by picking him in the first team. We’ve always said that age is no barrier, we just work on the principle that if you are doing the right things and showing good form, we will always look to reward that as best we can.”

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