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Bath rate Ewels' response to 'huge moment in a young man's career'

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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Bath boss Stuart Hooper has given his take on how skipper Charlie Ewels has coped with the enormity of the red card he shipped with England after 82 seconds of the Guinness Six Nations defeat to Ireland last month. The lock was banned for three weeks following his March 12 sending off for illegally clattering into the head of Ireland’s James Ryan, a player who has yet to take the field to play since the concussion injury he picked up in the foul tackle.

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In contrast, Ewels has been back in action with Bath since his high-profile England red card. The 26-year-old made his return in the Gallagher Premiership versus Exeter on April 2 and he has also played against Northampton in the league and versus Edinburgh in a best-forgotten Challenge Cup exit. 

What has been the legacy of the England red card for Ewels? “It was high profile, wasn’t it? It was a huge game and it was early in the game so it was always going to garner a huge amount of interest from media, supporters alike – but Charlie is incredibly level headed,” explained Hooper when asked by RugbyPass about how the Bath skipper has coped in the aftermath of his Test level sending-off. 

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“He understands the situation, how it happened and what he could have done differently and he has worked on that. He has reacted fantastically to something that was a huge moment in a young man’s career and performance-wise he has put it behind him.”

How much tackle technique work has Ewels put in since what took place at Twickenham? “Charlie is someone who backs his preparation and he is very level-headed. He did work on that tackle technique consistently, not just after that moment but before that as well. He comes back and he gets on with his work. 

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“That is how he leads the boys. He is very much somebody who the players look up to because of what he does and he follows that with what he says. He definitely leads through his actions and I have been pleased with him since he has come back.”

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After getting red-carded by referee Mathieu Raynal, the independent disciplinary hearing committee that investigated the Ewels incident decided: “Having acknowledged mitigating factors including, the player’s early acceptance of the red card, his remorse and contrition for his offending, his relatively unblemished disciplinary record over a long playing career and his good character and conduct at the hearing, the committee reduced the six-week entry point by three weeks, resulting in a sanction of three weeks.”

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