Ewels braced for Pu­mas cage bat­tle

The Rugby Paper - - Feature - NEALE HAR­VEY

HUN­GRY Eng­land sec­ond row hope­ful Char­lie Ewels has re­vealed how a chance meet­ing with his men­tor Danny Grew­cock left him in no doubt about the mag­ni­tude of the task fac­ing Ed­die Jones’s new look Red Rose out­fit in Ar­gentina.

Ewels, right – one of three locks named along­side Joe Launch­bury and Sara­cens tyro Nick Isiekwe for next month’s tour – is des­per­ate to lay down a marker in the ab­sence of Lions trio Maro Itoje, Court­ney Lawes and Ge­orge Kruis.

How­ever, Grew­cock was on the rot­ten end of a 33-13 ham­mer­ing by Ar­gentina in hos­tile Buenos Aires 20 years ago and Bath’s for­mer academy man­ager has al­ready warned Ewels of the pit­falls await­ing the un­sus­pect­ing in South Amer­ica.

Ewels, capped three times by Eng­land in Novem­ber, said: “I bumped into Danny at the Rec and after he’d con­grat­u­lated me on my se­lec­tion, he men­tioned that Ar­gentina was ac­tu­ally his first tour in 1997. “He said there was noth­ing really like it and to get ready be­cause Ar­gentina are a com­pletely dif­fer­ent beast in their own coun­try. The sta­di­ums have got cages around the pitch and their fans are pretty hos­tile, so it’s a big chal­lenge. “It didn’t go well for Danny but he did okay with Eng­land after that.

“I en­joyed the Sax­ons tour of South Africa last sum­mer and learnt more com­ing off the bench three times in the Au­tumn, so once you’ve had a lit­tle taste you just want more.”

Ewels added: “It will be huge if I’m se­lected and what I’ve learned from my brief time in in­ter­na­tional rugby so far is that the guys who go on and win loads of caps per­form ev­ery time they pull on the shirt.”

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