Ray Bande Senior Reporter
Mutare-born and bred rugby player, Dave Ewers made history last weekend when he became the first Zimbabwean to win the European Rugby Champion after his English club — Exeter Chiefs — beat French side Racing 92 31 -27 to lift the European Cup Rugby champions.
Ewers is a former Hillcrest student.
He played for the Leopards under their former head coach, Crispen Mhike.
In an interview with Post Sport this week, Mhike spoke glowingly about Ewers’ exploits.
“Dave Ewers is one of our own. He has won the European Championship and we are proud of his achievement. He is the first Zimbabwean to achieve this feat,” said Mhike.
The former Hillcrest College rugby coach chronicled Ewers’ history at the institution.
“He went to school at Hillcrest College from the junior school up to the seniors. His parents were teachers at Hillcrest so he says he is a Mutare boy.
“He can speak a bit of Shona. Two years ago he was in Mutare and visited a number of places in the city before going to Hillcrest to conduct a training session,” he said.
Mhike admitted that Ewers’ recent achievements came as a big surprise.
“He was a big player during his days at Hillcrest and was very passionate about the game, but I should be honest that I never expected that he would get to that level in the game. He is a youngster who never played for any of our age grade teams. Yes, he featured in some of our teams and he was an above average player, but not outstanding at all.
“He is quite a late bloomer. When the family moved to England, that is when I started seeing him improving on the game. If you look at his European championship performance, it was really outstanding. He made the most tackles and some fine carries. He deserves to be where he is right now, and going even further,” said Mhike.
The former Hillcrest mentor also spoke highly of rugby talent in Manicaland.
“One thing that touches me is the amazing rugby talent in Mutare. Ewers is just one of many talented youngsters I have seen in Mutare. They only need a platform to showcase their talents, the likes of Gideon Myambo, Ngoni Chibuwe and Makanaka Charamba. There are lots of them,” he said.