VANCOUVER - Two weeks ago rugby fans in British Columbia were treated to an international test match where Canada pummelled Georgia 31-12 in Burnaby. Orchestrating the back line from the fly half position was Duncan, BC's Matt Evans, who continues to excel at the professional and international levels.
It was a rare opportunity for BC fans to see Evans in action as the former Cowichan Rugby Club product and North Island Tsunami grad has since moved on to a professional career with English Championship side Cornish Pirates and is a regular fixture in the senior men's national team roster. It wasn't too long ago that Evans was lifting a Provincial Regional Championship title with the U18 North Island Tsunami, where the 24 year old says his rugby really took off.
"I have fond memories of my time with the Tsunami as it was my first experience of representative rugby. Playing with guys such as Thyssen De Goede who now plays Canada sevens and Sean White who plays for the men's national team are still good friends of mine today," Evans said. "[PRCs] provided a great ground to move onto BC teams which then lead to [national team] selections and being able to represent Canada has been the greatest honour I have achieved."
"Playing against guys like Nathan Hirayama and Mauro Perizzolo were great battles. Teams that included the Jones twins were always tough," Evans added. "Winning in my last year was a great finish to what was then the Japan Cup."
A graduate of Shawnigan Lake School, Evans went on to play for Canada's junior national team programs and excelled at Hartpury College in the UK. A versatile player who can slot in on the wing, full back or at fly half, Evans was first capped at the senior level against Ireland in 2008. The young speedster went to the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and has also been capped against Wales, Scotland, USA, Japan and New Zealand.
"Playing for the Cornish Pirates and being able to able to play in a test matches this summer has been fantastic," Evans added. "It all started with Tsunami and I have great memories from those days. I hope more kids come through the system and [come away] with the memories I have."
The 2012 Provincial Regional Championships are set for July 6-8 at UBC's Wolfson Fields. This year's tournament will feature 21 teams competing for U18 Men's, U18 Women's and U16 Men's divisional titles. BC provincial team selectors will be out in full force this week as they look to secure the top talent for the upcoming National Festival in Quebec, scheduled for August 8-11. The PRCs kick off this Friday at 11:00am.
Thanks to official PRCs partner Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation.