Planet Rugby

The British & Irish Lions


Evans hopes for Jones link-up

08th May 2013 11:38


George North Ian Evans and Adam Jones standing

Was nervous: Ian Evans

Ospreys second-row Ian Evans is hopeful that his international and regional partnership with Alun-Wyn Jones can help seal a Lions start.

The lock pair, who moved to the Liberty Stadium outfit in 2005, have been a key part of the engine room and were recently selected for the tour.

Evans and Jones are up against Paul O'Connell, Geoff Parling and Richie Gray in the battle for a Test jersey, but Evans is hoping that their long-standing playing relationship will pay dividends when selection for the three games is made.

"We have played together for Wales for the Under-19s and Under-21, won our first caps together in Argentina in 2006 and also celebrated Grand Slams and trophies with the Ospreys," Evans told Wales Online.

"We know each other pretty well and played together for a long time, so hopefully that can help us [play for the Lions].

"Alun Wyn Jones is vastly experienced and it shows with what he brings to the game. He made a massive impact. Of course it helps. We've been together a fair time and we know each other inside out."

On the pre-selection nerves, second-row Evans admitted that it had been a tough night's sleep before British and Irish Lions tour manager Andy Irvine announced the group.

"I wasn't that nervous until I went to training on the Monday and everyone kept on about it. After that I was just counting the clock down. I was hoping I could sleep through it, but it was one of the worst nights I have ever had," he added.

"I am normally not the best sleeper before games, but this was horrendous. We had a day off so it was just me, the television and the dog barking at the postman.

"Then at 11am it was head down hoping my name was going to be called out. When it was, it was just a massive pressure release.

"I had been so nervous winding myself up about it, it was like, wow, and then moments later there were texts and phone calls coming through.

"This is what every player in Britain and Ireland wants to be part of. Legends have worn the jersey in the past, people who have made a huge mark on the game."