ZIMBABWE-BORN Dave Ewers won the European Cup Rugby Championship with his club, Exeter Chiefs, who defeated French club Racing 92, 31-21, at the weekend.
Ewers, a former Hillcrest School student, helped his side capture the 2020 European Rugby Championship.
Luke-Cowan Dickie, Sam Simmonds and Harry Williams powered over to give Exeter a nine-point lead at the break.
Racing roared back with Simon Zebo’s second try and Camille Chat’s surge brought them to within a point with Exeter, down to 14 men, after Tomas Francis’ late yellow card.
An intense final 10 minutes saw Racing turning down the drop-goal opportunity, as they went through the phases, within five metres of the line.
Exeter replacement, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, secured a turnover, under the shadow of his posts and captain, Joe Simmonds, landed a penalty with the last act of the match.
Hillcrest congratulated one of their own and said he will do even better in future.
“Our very own congratulations on this phenomenal achievement. A European Champion and the first Zimbabwean to do so.
“We are excited for all that you have achieved, enjoy this moment,” the school said.
Ewers was once on the books of the Cornish Pirates in the Championship on a dual registration.
He is capable of playing both flanker and eighth man and is known for his destructive ball carrying, and exceptional defensive capabilities.
Ewers was selected for the England squad to face the Barbarians in the summer of 2014.
In February 2016 he was called up to England’s 2016 Six Nations squad.
“Exeter’s man-mountain out on the pitch every time he plays, Ewers is one of the most physical and abrasive back-row forwards in European rugby,” the club says on their website.
“Born and initially raised in Zimbabwe, Ewers was part of Exeter’s Academy system at Ivybridge Community College after his family moved to the United Kingdom.
“A destructive force, even at an early age, Ewers made his Chiefs debut in 2009, featuring in a British & Irish Cup clash away to Newport.
“Keen to give the fledgling forward more exposure to senior game time, he was dual-registered with Championship side Cornish Pirates during the 2011/12 season, helping them to reach the Play-Off Final, only to lose out to eventual champions Bristol.
“The following season, however, Ewers was back at Sandy Park and causing havoc within the Premiership.
“His no-nonsense approach not only won him many admirers, but left a trail of destruction amongst those rivals who tried to halt his rampaging runs.
“Although injuries have at times hampered his development, Ewers has amassed over 100 first team appearances for the Chiefs, whilst his on-field form has seen him get recognised with appearances for the England Saxons, as well as a first call-up to the senior training squad in February 2016.”
He attended the AASE programme, run by Ivybridge Community College, in 2009 and 2010.
Ewers was a member of the Ivybridge squad 1st XV, which battled in the AASE final in 2009 and 2010, and won the North of England 7s Tournament the same year.
He was signed by the Chiefs in 2010 and made his first start for Exeter in the British and Irish Cup against Newport.
Before, becoming a senior member of the Chiefs squad, Ewers was dual-registered and frequently played for Cornish Pirates.