After becoming the latest Ospreys centurion at the weekend, Ian Evans says he’s looking forward to taking advantage of the perks of being a senior player at the region.
Evans clocked up his 100th appearance in an Ospreys shirt when he came off the bench during the closing stages of the win in Leinster, six and a half years after his debut, also as a replacement, in a 37-10 defeat to Munster at the start of the 2006/06 season.
Having finally reached the century last Friday evening, Evans revealed that he’ll be looking to secure his own seat at the back of the team bus on the next away day.
“I’m over the moon to be joining the centurions obviously” he said.
“There are some great players on the list so to be in their company is fantastic. Best of all it means I’m allowed to sit at the back of the bus now without too much banter, so I’m quite happy with that! It’s been one of my goals for a while now so to actually get to 100 is really something I’m proud of.”
A Grand Slam winner back in 2008, Evans ended a lengthy absence from the national set-up when selected for the game against Australia in December before going on to play every second in the 2012 Grand Slam campaign. It’s undoubtedly been a good few months for him personally, but the win in Leinster clearly meant a lot to him judging by the way he celebrated at the final whistle – something picked up by Head Coach Steve Tandy in his post-match comments.
“It was a massive occasion and it’s a great win” said Evans.
“Fair play to all the boys they really dug in for the full 80 minutes and showed great spirit. To come away with the result against the top of the league in circumstances like we did speaks volumes for the character in the squad.
“Everybody knows what’s in store for you when you go to Dublin to play Leinster. To get anything is an achievement, so when you win there you’ve got to savour it – and I did enjoy it, just to be a part of it.
“I’ve had a great couple of months and I’ve been enjoying my rugby. I’ve managed to get some games under my belt, found a bit of form, and I’m more than happy with how things are going at the moment. Hopefully now as we come to the business end of the season with the silverware up for grabs, it can get even better.”
After the highs of last weekend’s win, the Ospreys face a difficult challenge on Saturday against Benetton Treviso, and the big second row says it’s crucial that the team follow the Leinster win up with another good performance:
“There’s no point getting a great win like last Friday in Leinster and then losing your home game next time up. You’ve got to back it up or it counts for nothing. This week is about focussing on Treviso and making sure we are at our best on Saturday. We’ve played them a few times this season already, we know each others games very well, and they’ve given us a couple of scares.
“They are a good side capable of really hurting us if we aren’t at our best. They’ve shown since coming into the PRO12 that they can beat anyone. It’s about making sure we have everything we need in our armoury to enable us to secure a win on Saturday night to keep us going towards the play-offs.”