RaboDirect Rising Stars: Iolo Evans (Scarlets)

Guinness PRO12 Editor

16 Apr 2012

24.08.11 - Scarlets Rugby Squad 2011/2012 -

©Huw Evans Picture Agency

Scarlets have pedigree when it comes to bringing through talent on the wing – just ask anyone who has faced George North in his fledgling career.

Iolo Evans is the latest back sensation in West Wales having made his RaboDirect PRO12 debut in the clash against Ulster last December and will be looking to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious teammate.

Away from rugby the 19-year-old is a keen fan of several other sports, although his interest in football might be on the wane after being told he is the spitting image of a certain Manchester United striker.


I’ve been told I look like Wayne Rooney and I’m not too happy about it. He’s probably the most famous person people think I resemble, but he’s not a very good-looking bloke. Just because he’s a good footballer I definitely don’t take it as a compliment.

My earliest rugby memories are with my first club Caernarfon. It’s where I grew up and played my first rugby back when I was about eight. It’s a great club and I really enjoyed my time coming through there.

Rheon James and I always go toe to toe in training. We’ve come through the age groups together and get on pretty well, so he’s the guy I do most of my gym sessions with. We follow pretty much the same programme so it’s nice to have someone like him to train with.

I’m not really one for reality TV but I have a bit of a weak spot for I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. It’s just a bit of fun, but it’s probably the one I watch the most, though I wouldn’t go out of my way to catch it.

I definitely would not want to meet Andy Powell down a dark alley. I don’t know him very well but he definitely looks like a bit of a rough bloke, and I wouldn’t fancy my chances against him. He’s quite intimidating.

At the Junior World Championships last year I signed my first autographs. It was in Italy and you had quite a few kids on the sidelines collecting autographs. To be honest it was pretty weird and I’ll probably need to do a little more practising.

Before games I’m not too superstitious so I don’t have any rituals that I have to do to play well. I pretty much just try to chill out as much as possible. Usually I do that by listening to music, and I have a pretty wide-ranging taste so that could be a bit of everything.

Jordan Williams and Rob Evans are my closest friends in rugby – hopefully they have good things to say about me. We’ve come through the ranks together at the Scarlets, and there is a pretty good generation of players here. The young guys are definitely getting their chance at the Scarlets and it’s pretty exciting to be a part of it.

If I could be involved in any other sporting moment it would have to be taking on Muhammad Ali in one of his great fights. I probably wouldn’t get on too well but it would be pretty special getting to box against the greatest of them all.

During the Junior World Championships I picked up the nickname ‘Killer’ which I don’t seem to be able to shake. I’m not really sure where it’s come from but I shouted my head off after scoring one try so it’s probably something to do with that. I don’t mind as long as I can play well though.