Attending a three-day England Rugby training camp at Brighton College in May last year foreshadowed Charlie Ewels’ selection for the two-match Saxons tour of South Africa in June last year. He made his debut in the opening game at Bloemfontein and also played in the second triumph at George. In the same month, he signed a contract extension with Bath Rugby and his Test debut followed off the bench for Courtney Lawes after 66 minutes against Fiji at Twickenham that November.
He also contributed to the subsequent wins over Argentina and Australia in the Old Mutual Wealth Series and was among the England players to impress in the 28-14 victory over an experienced Barbarians side at Twickenham last May. His fourth cap and first start came 13 days later in the pulsating 38-34 win over Argentina in the first Test at San Juan. The following week, he scored his first international try after winning a lineout and linking with Nathan Hughes and Joe Launchbury. His touchdown against Samoa this November was his second in successive Test appearances.
As memorable matches go, Charlie’s original favourite was England’s 31-10 win over Wales U16 at Fylde in April 2011. He said: “Despite being dominated for the first five minutes and conceding a try, we came through extremely well as a team.” He also played in the England U18 preparatory games against Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers in 2011-12 before appearing against France at Fylde in late February that season.
He went on to become one of six players to start all three matches as England lifted the Justin Bridou Trophy as winners of the 2012 FIRA/AER European Championship title in Madrid.
He captained his country to an 82-8 victory over Portugal when winning his tenth cap, before the side went on to lift the trophy for the second successive time in March 2013. He started the first three games in the 2014 Six Nations at U20 level and played in all five matches when England won the Junior World Championship title that summer. Charlie went on to lead the side in every Six Nations match in 2015 and was an important figure in the title triumph, climaxed by the 24-11 win over France at Brighton.
He said afterwards: “Joe Marchant, ‘Twinkle Toes’, scored a great try in the corner. We stuck to what we do (best) and some good scrums got us out of trouble at times.” Charlie, who studied for A-levels in maths, economics, geography and chemistry at Bryanston School, began playing when he was seven at his home town club Bournemouth and has since represented Dorset & Wilts U14-U16 and South West U16, led the England U20 side in all ten games in 2015. His previous education was at Moordown St John’s and Bournemouth School for Boys.
He signed an academy contract with Bath and his school mentors were Mike Pyrgos and Andy Marriot. Charlie said: “Jim Kelly was my forwards coach in my time at county level and my dad has been my mentor throughout my playing career from the U12 to the U16 sides.”
Peter Walton, the England U18 assistant head coach, improved all parts of his game especially lineout and ball carrying skills. Outside the game, Charlie hopes to study for a degree and “maybe look into teaching after a career in rugby”. He captained Bournemouth U9-U16, Dorset & Wilts U16 and South West U16, having played his initial three Aviva Premiership matches for Bath in November 2014. He has now appeared in 34 games in the competition, scored two tries and created many more.
His most admired players are Martin Johnson, Lawrence Dallaglio and Victor Matfield and his top stadium is the Recreation Ground – the home of Bath Rugby.
10 points - 2T
2016 Fj (R), Arg(R), A(R) 2017 Arg (1,2), Sam
Last updated: 26 November 2017