A FIRST senior England appearance for Exeter Chiefs forward Dave Ewers came a step closer on Monday night, when he was picked in a training squad to prepare for the national team’s next Six Nations Championship assignment against Wales on Saturday week.

The Zimbabwe-born 25-year-old would have been in this year’s England senior squad had a long-term knee injury not intervened, but the back-row forward is fit now and he played for Exeter in their 26-17 Premiership victory over Bath at Sandy Park last weekend.

Ewers takes the place of Sale number eight Josh Beaumont, who has been stricken by a dislocated shoulder.

Exeter wing Jack Nowell, who has started all three of England games so far in this year’s Six Nations, stays in the squad. He has been joined by two more of his Chiefs club-mates, Sam Hill and Luke Cowan-Dickie.

Hill and Cowan-Dickie were included in head coach Eddie Jones’ first England elite player squad, but they have not yet made a match-day squad under the Australian.

Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi, who has recovered from a long-term groin injury, has also been added to England’s training squad, which will be based in Bath this week.

Tuilagi nudges Ollie Devoto out of the group, although the Exeter-bound Bath centre had already been struggling with concussion.

England training squad: Forwards: K Brookes (Northampton), D Cole (Leicester), L Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), L Clifford (Harlequins), D Ewers (Exeter Chiefs), J George (Saracens), D Hartley (Northampton), J Haskell (Wasps), P Hill (Northampton), M Itoje (Saracens), G Kruis (Saracens), M Kvesic (Gloucester), J Launchbury (Wasps), C Lawes (Northampton), J Marler (Harlequins), M Mullan (Wasps), C Robshaw (Harlequins), B Vunipola (Saracens), M Vunipola (Saracens). Backs: M Brown (Harlequins), D Care (Harlequins), E Daly (Wasps), O Farrell (Saracens), G Ford (Bath), A Goode (Saracens), S Hill (Exeter Chiefs), J Joseph (Bath), J Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), S Rokoduguni (Bath), M Tuilagi (Leicester), A Watson (Bath), M Yarde (Harlequins), B Youngs (Leicester).