Dave Ewers is targeting exciting times ahead after he became the latest Exeter player to commit his long-term future to the Chiefs.
With the 24-year-old’s current contract set to expire at the end of this season, head coach Rob Baxter has moved swiftly to tie down the imposing back-row forward.
A product of the club’s highly successful Academy system, Ewers has over time established himself as one of the most destructive forwards in the Aviva Premiership, forging a terrific working partnership alongside experienced No.8 Thomas Waldrom.
Following the lead of club captain Jack Yeandle, who himself penned a new two-year contract extension last week, Ewers admits it’s great to have his future done and dusted so swiftly.
“It was an easy decision to make,” said the Harare-born player. “I’ve been at Chiefs all my career and it’s effectively my home now. I am very happy here, playing with a great group of guys and working with a very solid coaching set-up.
“Coming through with the likes of Nowellsy, Sladey, Dickie and Hilly, it’s definitely helped me a lot and we’ve experienced so much together. Obviously I’m a few years older than them, but we’ve all made that breakthrough roughly around the same time and it’s been great to be part of what have been some very exciting times at the club.”
Having concluded his contract talks so quickly with Baxter, Ewers is now fully focused on the 2015/16 season and helping the Chiefs to push forward both in the Premiership and the Champions Cup.
“Signing now means I can focus solely on my rugby and what we do here week by week,” continued Ewers.
“This season has been a bit different because of the World Cup lay-out, but it’s going to be a big year for all of us, so to know everything is sorted nice and early means I can concentrate on my game and nothing else.”
And having been part of an ever-improving Exeter squad, Ewers believes the future for the Devon club is certainly a bright one.
He added: “The club have achieved a huge amount over the last few years, especially since coming into the Premiership. However, I think there is still a lot more to come from us.
“We’ve set ourselves up now to take that next step. We’re a pretty hungry group of players and individuals, who all want to keep improving and get better, so the next step has to be to try and get into the play-offs and be competing for honours at the end of the season.”
As well as club honours, though, Ewers himself is keen to develop his own career, particularly on the international scene, where he has previously featured for England Saxons.
“I would love to break into the England set-up, but I know to stand any chance I have to be playing well here and doing well for the Chiefs,” he said. “As long as I concentrate on what I do here, then hopefully things will take care of themselves in the future.”
But with plenty of rivals battling it out alongside Ewers – both at club and potentially international level – the hulking great forward knows he can ill afford to let his own high standards slip.
“We have amazing depth within the squad now,” he added. “You wouldn’t say anyone has a secured position and that in itself will drive the boys to become better and better because you can’t afford to have a poor game. If you do, then you could well find yourself out of the team and then facing a real battle to get back in.
“Personally, my game has come on so much, initially it was the likes of Gibbo [Rob Gibson] and Robin [Cowling] who helped to pull me through the Academy and now working with all the coaches, I think it’s right what Tank says, they allow us to play with great freedom and that itself brings the best out in all of us.”