Sunday, 17 November 2019

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Whitianga residents to share in son’s induction in Premiership Rugby Hall of Fame

Whitianga residents, John and Robyn Evans, are travelling this week to London to share in the induction of their son, Nick, a former All Black, in the Premiership Rugby Hall of Fame. The induction will take place at Twickenham Stadium on Friday 31 May.

Nick Evans is deemed to be one of the best Premiership Rugby imports of all time. He initially played fullback for Otago, but quickly developed into an outstanding first five eight. He made his debut for the All Blacks against England in 2004. He won 16 caps for the All Blacks in total, scoring 103 points.

After missing out on All Blacks selection in 2008, Nick joined the Harlequins Premiership Rugby team in London. His arrival at the club had an immediate impact. After having finished sixth in the 2007/2008 season, the team made the semi-finals in 2008/2009. Two forgettable seasons followed, but with Nick wearing the number 10 jersey, the team lifted their first Premiership Rugby trophy in the 2011/2012 season. In the final against the Leicester Tigers (which Harlequins won 30 - 23), Nick scored 20 points.

The following two seasons, Nick was instrumental in Harlequins reaching the Premiership Rugby semi-finals. Three seasons later, after a total of nine seasons with the club, he decided it was time to hang up his boots.

When the referee blew the final whistle of his final game, Nick was at the top of the Harlequins points scoring chart with 2,249 points. Upon his retirement, the Harlequins’ director of Rugby, John Kingston, said, “The word ‘legendary’ is really overused within the modern sporting world, but in the case of Nick Evans and his rugby playing career at Harlequins, it’s the perfect description.”

Nick is still involved with Harlequins as skills and off-the-ball coach.

John and Robyn Evans are understandably very proud of Nick’s achievements on the rugby field. “I’ve given Nick the same piece of advice since he was a 10-year-old rugby player,” says John. ‘Mate,’ I always told him, ‘If you don’t enjoy playing rugby, don’t do it. If you do enjoy it, play fair and always play to win as no one remembers who comes second. Above all, respect the game, your team members and your opponents, for without any of them there’s no game.’ This he has done.”

Nick will be inducted in the Premiership Rugby Hall of Fame together with Matt Dawson and Jason Leonard, who were both part of the England team that won the Rugby World Cup in 2003.

Pictured: John and Robyn Evans with Nick (in the centre).

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