Charlie Ewels has set his sights on a ‘big season’ with Bath Rugby after returning for pre-season training last week.
The second rower will link up with a number of new faces in the Blue, Black and White and believes that there is a real excitement heading into the 2018/19 season.
“It’s nice to be back – we’ve had a really good break and it’s a chance now to get back to work, fix any niggles and get prepared physically and mentally for a big season.
“It’s only week two, but there is a real buzz around the place. There are quite a few new faces and a new energy with that. There have been some big changes in the off-season, but positive changes. Now it’s about putting the work in and hopefully see those come to fruition.”
“It was day one today for Girvan (Dempsey), so we’ve all met him this morning. We’ve done a skill session and already he’s laid out what he wants in terms of going back to going back to the basics and how we want to play the game. It’s really exciting and now it’s a case of knuckling down and getting on with it making sure that come September and round one of the Premiership we’re in the best place we can be.”
Bath already know their European fate, with reigning champions Leinster, Toulouse and Wasps all in waiting. Despite the challenging draw, Ewels is relishing the prospect of locking horns with some of Europe’s big guns.
“That’s what you want – we fought at the end of last season to get in the competition because you want to compete against the best in Europe. Ultimately, if you want to progress in the competition, you’ve got to beat the best teams anyway so it doesn’t matter whether you do that in the group or the knock-out. There are three great trips there, but three massive games to test ourselves against three of the better teams in Europe.”
Ewels believes that with the squad at their disposal, the Club can challenge on all fronts going into the 2018/19 campaign.
“We’d be in a pretty terrible place if we said that we didn’t want to win the Premiership and Europe (Champions Cup). That’s where we’ve got to set the stall out with the squad, facilities and coaching set-up we’ve got. We’re more than capable of doing those things and if we went into the campaign with any other ambition, there wouldn’t be much point.
With the 2019 Rugby World Cup on the horizon, Ewels will have one eye on pushing himself into contention for England. However, the six-time capped lock is not getting too ahead of himself, with his full focus on performing for his Club before thinking of his international aspirations.
“I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t partially on my mind, but I realise that if I want any of that to happen, I have to play well for Bath and perform here. It starts now and making sure I’m improving and getting better each day. Also it’s about coming into the season with no excuses and in the best shape I possibly can be.
“I’ll concentrate on where I am at the time – if I’m with Bath, I’ll be 100% and if I’m with England then my head will be there. If you get too carried away and too far ahead of yourself, you won’t perform for Bath. That’s the long-term plan, but I understand that there’s a process to get there.”