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Evans excited for rocking Arms Park derby

First Team News | 30th December 2022

Jarrod Evans is relishing the prospect of a sold out New Year’s Day derby against the Ospreys.

The fly-half, who had a hand in three tries in the Boxing Day triumph over Dragons, is recalled to Cardiff’s starting line-up for the BKT United Rugby Championship showdown.

Two star-studded sides have been named and the Arms Park is on course for a capacity attendance for the second of the Blue and Blacks three consecutive derbies.

Reflecting on the Dragons triumph and looking ahead to Sunday, Evans said: “We’ve got a pretty good record against the Dragons, but it's been noticeable how much of an improvement they've made, especially with Dai Flanagan and some of the big name signings they've got.  

“We knew going down there was going to be tough. We played them at home earlier in the year and it was very similar. It took us a long time to break the game open and they’re a team which don't go away. 

“They’ve added a lot to their game and we knew it would be tough and it went to the last moment for us to get over the line.

“I was really excited to get on and it makes a big difference as well when the crowds like that at Rodney.  We're expecting a big crowd as well come this weekend so that makes a big difference.  

“It's unbelievable and it makes a hell of a difference when you have a rocking Arms Park. In these tight games, which derbies often are, it's the difference between getting the team over the line or not. So I'm really looking forward to playing at the weekend and I know all the boys are too.”

Cardiff go into the encounter as the top placed Welsh team in the URC and eight points clear of the Ospreys in the Welsh Shield but it was the Swansea-club that prevailed with two wins last season.

The Ospreys have the better of the encounter in recent seasons and with both teams enjoying a rich vein of form, Evans is not only excited but believes it is an important showcase for Welsh rugby.

He added: “We're expecting a set piece orientated game. When we’ve played them in the past that's been the case. 

“We've got to try and front up and dominate that area, but also find ways how to get around it when we need to as well.  That's always the challenge with the Ospreys trying to manage the front five really because their set piece is fairly strong and that's the foundation of how they they play the game and get most joy 

“They've had a big win in Montpellier but also backed it up with a win against the Scarlets last weekend. 

“We are on a bit of a winning run, so it’s set up really nicely and the packed Arms Park and what better place to play at the weekend. 

“We're just quietly confident going into each game and taking one game at a time. We've got three home games at the Arms Park which we love playing in front of so hopefully we can make them count.”