Ian Evans: Lions snub will 'gnaw away at me'
August 10, 2013
Ian Evans charges away for Wales © Getty Images
Ian Evans has targeted silverware with both Wales and the Ospreys this season as he looks to bury the disappointment of not featuring in a Test for the British & Irish Lions.
Evans was one of 15 Welsh players included in the Lions' squad for their tour of Australia but he did not make the squad for the three Tests. Alongside Gethin Jenkins, who returned home without playing a single game for the tourists due to a calf injury, Evans was one of just two Welsh internationals to miss out on a spot to play the Wallabies.
He admits this disappointment will grate for a while but he paid tribute to the locks who got the nod ahead of him. Evans told Wales Online: "I did enjoy the tour, but not being part of the Test team was a negative. That will probably gnaw away at me for a while.
"There were five quality locks out there and a lot of competition. In fact, it was probably the strongest squad that's ever toured with the Lions. It was obviously disappointing from a personal perspective because you always want to get in the Test team.
Ian Evans contemplates the Lions' defeat to the Brumbies © PA Photos
"But stuff happens. The better person got the jersey and you have to accept that. Hats off to Paul O'Connell, Alun Wyn Jones, Geoff Parling and Richie Gray, they deserve what they achieved."
And Evans is adamant he feels he is a better player for having gone on the tour. He added: "It's a special thing and to be part of it was incredible. Not many teams come away with series wins, either, so to be part of the squad was quite an achievement really.
"You get to train with and play alongside the best players in British and Irish rugby and you do pick up pointers. Not just from the forwards but from the backs as well. You learn a bit more about the game of rugby just by talking to experienced players."
Evans has now turned his attention to shining for Wales and the Ospreys and is optimistic of winning more silverware. He played an integral part in Wales' back-to-back Six Nations triumphs and has his sights set on the 2015 World Cup.
"There's still more to achieve," Evans said. "I wasn't part of the last World Cup campaign and going away with so many Welsh boys on the Lions tour will give a lot of us confidence looking forward to 2015.
"I'm still hungry for success and will be trying hard to achieve something with Wales and the Ospreys."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton
Kiwi coaches can be found far and wide across the globe, and Murray Mexted believes the All Blacks benefit every bit as much as their rivals
Clermont, Toulon, player burnout, Sam Burgess and a farewell to Adams Park - Monday Maul looks back at the weekend's action
The latest Week in Pictures takes in some original ways of welcoming teams to the field and plenty of tries from the European Champions Cup