News broke earlier today that British and Irish Lions star second row is a doubt for England's 6 Nations campaign with a fractured jaw. An understandably big blow for England head coach Eddie Jones, however, England's loss is Charlie Ewels' gain.
With fellow Lions, Saracens and England team mate George Kruis seemingly out of favour, the chance for Bath lock Ewels to feature in some major England matches is there for the taking.
It seems likely that Courtney Lawes and Joe Launchbury will start in the engine room, however, a bench spot is up for grabs. Fellow aspiring second row Nick Isiekwe will be challenging Ewels and Kruis for the 19 jersey. For the moment, Ewels is in pole position. The former England U20 captain has started four times under Jones and could easily get his fifth in the six nations should Lawes be moved to blindside flanker.
Ewels has impressed England coaches with his leadership, lineout and carrying ability. Having proved he has the skills to attack ball in hand, sit the opposition down in defence and take a leading role on the pitch, Ewels may soon cement his place on the England bench. With both Itoje and Lawes more than capable in the six Jersey at test level and Jones's confession of his desire for leaders, the sky is the limit for the young Bath star.
Ewels will face a tough lineup before the 6 Nations, facing a meaty pack in the Toulon double header in the Champions Cup in the next two weeks. England's embarrassment of riches in the second row continues to grow and if you haven't kept a keen eye on the likes of Ewels or Isiekwe, you may want to.