Dave Ewers: Exeter Chiefs prepared for forward's absence

By Brent PilnickBBC Sport
Dave Ewers
Dave Ewers has been an ever-present in Exeter's Premiership side this season

Exeter Chiefs have the manpower to cope if back-rower Dave Ewers is ruled out with a knee injury, according to head coach Rob Baxter.

The highly-rated forward, 25, could miss Saturday's game at Wasps.

"Dave's going very well, he's very physical for us," said Baxter, whose side sit second in the Premiership.

"If he has to miss the odd game or a few games we have back-row forwards who are good players, who've played a lot of rugby and have good combinations."

Baxter added to BBC Sport: "Any combination of Thomas Waldrom, Julian Salvi, Don Armand, Ben White, Tom Johnson, Kai Horstmann, young Sam Simmonds - we've got some genuine quality there and I think those guys are going to have to step up, and any time Dave's not available they'll have to step up."

Ewers excelled in last week's win over fourth-placed Harlequins, which sent the Chiefs three points clear of Leicester Tigers in third.

And, while England captain Chris Robshaw got many plaudits, Baxter felt Ewers, who many have tipped as a future England player, outshone him.

"Dave had a monumental game," said Baxter. "I know he was coded at 22 tackles, but with assists I coded him at another five or six tackles on top of that - he was getting towards the 30-tackle mark and four or five of them were genuine big, solid stop tackles.

"He certainly carried and made more yards than almost any other player on the field, and when I say yards I mean hard yards.

"It's a bit of strange one for me to see Chris Robshaw bigged up on the TV. I'm not saying he didn't have a good game, he did have a good game, but he wasn't the best back-row forward on the pitch."