His move from Kingsholm to the Liberty Stadium has delighted the man himself, but not as much as it has Evans’ grandfather David. Born in Swindon and a product of Hartpury College and the Cherry and Whites, the 27-year-old has played all of his professional rugby in England until now. The No 8 looks an astute pick up by the Ospreys for the 2019-20 campaign.
“I was out of contract at Gloucester and the move to the Ospreys all came about very, very late. It got sorted in the last week of the season,” Evans said.
“I still feel like I’ve got a lot left to give and even though I’m 27, I feel a couple of years younger in terms of what I’ve got in the tank. This is a new opportunity for me to start afresh in a new environment and a new league. It’s all very exciting.
“When the Ospreys came up I thought it was the right time for a change. Why not look at opportunities out there?”
Evans played for Wales at schoolboy and Under-16 level and was also in the Under-18 set-up but never played due to injury. His family ferried him from Swindon to west Wales – where training was held at the time – two to three times a week.
The three-hour journey each way quickly became too much and Evans enrolled at Hartpury where he soon progressed to Gloucester’s books. He has been lost to the Welsh game since, but remains qualified to play for Wales through his grandfather, who hails from the Llyn Peninsula.
“I was always brought up to support Wales,” Evans said. “There was never any talk of England and coming home to Wales has always been in the back of my mind as a result. My grandfather was over the moon when I told him I was coming to the Ospreys.
“He’s never said it to me, but he’s always asked my dad if I was coming back across the bridge. I’m pleased I’ve finally done it. It’s a good fit and I think the Guinness PRO14 will suit me.”
The Ospreys’ headline arrival for the new season is Wales outside-half Gareth Anscombe. Utility back Shaun Venter is also poised to arrive from South African side Cheetahs. Evans might not be a star name, but he looks a canny acquisition in a World Cup year as he is hungry to prove his worth.
Ospreys supporters will be pleased to hear Evans – who is a dynamic back-row operator – plans to take the PRO14 by storm and hopefully impress the Wales hierarchy in the process.
“In the PRO14 there is more emphasis on attacking rugby and ball in play. The PRO14 is between the Premiership and Super Rugby in terms of style and personally I like to get the ball in hand. I played a lot of sevens growing up and really enjoyed it.
“I’m probably going to have more space in the PRO14 as you get to create a gap once in a blue moon in the Premiership.”
Evans will be clear view of incoming Wales coach Wayne Pivac when the season gets underway. And he isn’t about to give up on his dreams of pulling on the famous red jersey.
Evans continued: “I would definitely love to play for Wales and I’d be honoured to. It’s what every rugby player aspires to and it would be amazing. At this point I’m focusing on playing for the Ospreys and if I’m starting for the region it will be easier to get noticed.
“It definitely played a part in me coming here. I grew up wearing a Wales shirt and wanting to play for Wales so if I could achieve that, it would be huge. Who knows if it will happen, but fingers crossed. My grandfather would be over the moon if I made it.”