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Evans hopes to bring attacking edge in Wales debut

First Team News | 30th August 2019

Jarrod Evans is hoping to unleash Cardiff Blues’ attacking brand of rugby as he makes his first international start in Wales’ Summer Series clash with Ireland.

Having made two cameo appearances off the bench previously, Evans pulls on the coveted Wales number 10 jersey for the first time.

And while he admits playing in the Test arena requires a more pragmatic approach, he hopes he can produce some of the scintillating attacking rugby followers at the Arms Park have become so accustomed to.

Evans said: “It's my first start. I haven't had a lot of game-time coming into this, but I am looking forward to it and the chance to show what I can do.

“It is just trying to perform the best you can and putting your best foot forward. That's all you can do.

“Going back to last year I was just taking it one game at a time, enjoying my rugby and doing what I could for the Blues.

“I didn’t think this would all happen so quickly, but I’ve been told by a few boys, from their own experiences, how quick things can change and develop.

“It’s well documented, the style we play at the Blues, more than anything, the attacking style, I like to say I can bring that to the game.

“Although you may have to approach this game with a bit of caution, how Ireland come off the back of that England performance. A lot their talk this week will be around defence and early on it will be tough but later in the game it should open up.”

Evans is one of 14 changes to the side that triumphed over England two weeks ago and is joined in the starting line-up by regional teammates Josh Navidi, who captains his country for the first time, Owen Lane and Hallam Amos, while Tomos Williams returns to fitness to take a place on the bench.

Several players are fighting for a place in Warren Gatland’s World Cup squad, which is announced on Sunday, but he insists there is no room for individual agendas.

He continued: “That’s the biggest challenge for us, how quickly we can come together with so many changes in the team including two new caps, my first start and Josh with the captaincy. But we’re all looking forward to it and desperate to show what we can do.

“My sole focus is the game and how I can help the team perform to the best that we can and how I can get my individual game right on the money as well.

 “You can’t go out with your own individual agenda, you have got to do what is best for the side. We have always been team first, whatever is best for the team, and anything after that is a bonus.

“Even when Gareth (Anscombe) was here, obviously that injury is really unfortunate for him, but all four of us were working hard prior to that. Nothing has really changed. We are still all fighting for that spot on the plane, really.

“You have got to put your best foot forward and see what happens. I am just looking forward to getting out there, and going out to enjoy it, really.”

The two new caps Evans refers to are Owen Lane and Rhys Carré, who joins Saracens this summer. The 23-year-old is particularly pleased to see Lane included and is confident he can fire on all cylinders as he makes his international debut.

He added: “It’s well-deserved with Laney, I’ve witnessed first-hand at the Blues and it is pretty evident what a dangerous runner he is and how effective he is with ball in hand. I’m over the moon for him and glad he’s getting a shot because we’ve all been working hard.”