Ieuan Evans says Wales win against Fiji will pile pressure on England

Wales beat England 28-25 to leave them on the brink of becoming the first host nation not to make the World Cup knockout stage and former Wales winger Ieuan Evans says they will be feeling that pressure.

“There is a possibility that England will get knocked out this weekend,” Evans told Sky Sports News.

“Especially if Wales overcome Fiji which I think they will. That would put even more pressure on England and Australia – England know that they have to beat Australia on Saturday night. It is knock-out rugby already and we have not got out of the pool stages yet.

“The pressure is building on England.”

Wales face a difficult game against Fiji and Evans says they need to manage not only the quick five-day turn around, but also the euphoria of beating England in such dramatic circumstances.

“There is a huge amount at stake for Wales. They need to react positively after that emotional high from last weekend and make sure all the great characteristics that held them in good stead against England – clarity, composure and cohesion – are back for Fiji.

“Fiji are a decent side, even though they have lost quality players like Nemani Nadolo and Nikola Matawalu. They still have some superb players like Leone Nakarawa in the second row, and Levani Botia in the centre who is very physical presence. They are a well organised side.

“Wales need to focus on the set-piece which at times was not great against England – if you want to beat Fiji then the set-piece is key.”

Spine of the team

Wales’ injury woes have been well documented and Warren Gatland has called upon the promising young talents of Mathew Morgan and Tyler Morgan. Both have plenty of potential but Evans, who won 72 caps for Wales, says that it is the old heads that will get Wales past Fiji.

“Mathew Morgan has been compared to the great Shane Williams and has the X-factor while Tyler Morgan brings youthful exuberance. However, they will rely on the experience around them.

“For me the key players will be the front row, Alun Wynn Jones who was immense against England, the back row and Dan Biggar who gives the side cohesion and game management. You really need that against Fiji – you can’t allow them to run the ball all over the park.”

 

Ieuan Evans conducts pool draws as European heavyweights are set to clash in 2015/16

The reigning Aviva Premiership champions, Saracens, have been drawn in Pool 1 of the European Rugby Champions Cup following the pool draws for ECPR’s tournaments which took place today (Wednesday, 17 June) in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

Saracens, who reached the Champions Cup semi-finals last season, will be up against Ulster Rugby, Toulouse and Oyonnax when the 2015/16 season kicks off in November.

Bath Rugby, the number two-ranked club from the Aviva Premiership, will clash with RC Toulon, Leinster Rugby and Wasps in Pool 5.

Glasgow Warriors, who become the first Scottish club to win a major title in the professional era when they were crowned Guinness PRO12 champions, were drawn in Pool 3 against Northampton Saints, Racing 92 and Scarlets.

Munster Rugby, the highest-ranked Irish club from the PRO12, will face Stade Français Paris, Leicester Tigers and Benetton Treviso in Pool 4.

Ospreys, the top-ranked Welsh club, were drawn in Pool 2 where they will come up against ASM Clermont Auvergne, Exeter Chiefs and Bordeaux-Bègles.

Sale Sharks, the number-one ranked Aviva Premiership club in the Challenge Cup draw, will play Newport Gwent Dragons, Castres Olympique and Pau in Pool 2, while Connacht Rugby, the highest-ranked PRO12 representative, were in Pool 1 against Brive, Newcastle Falcons and Enisei-STM.

Both pool draws were compered by Craig Doyle (BT Sport) and Raphael Ibanez (France Televisions), and conducted by Ieuan Evans (Sky Sports) and Dimitri Yachvili (beIN Sports).

The draws, held in Neuchâtel where EPCR has its headquarters, were covered live on btsport.com, Sky Sports News and beIN Sports, and streamed live on epcrugby.com

2015/16 Champions Cup pools

Pool 1: Saracens, Ulster Rugby, Toulouse, Oyonnax
Pool 2: ASM Clermont Auvergne, Ospreys, Exeter Chiefs, Bordeaux-Bègles
Pool 3: Glasgow Warriors, Northampton Saints, Racing 92, Scarlets
Pool 4: Stade Français Rugby, Munster Rugby, Leicester Tigers, Benetton Treviso
Pool 5: Bath Rugby, RC Toulon, Leinster Rugby, Wasps

2015/16 Challenge Cup pools

Pool 1: Connacht Rugby, Brive, Newcastle Falcons, Eniset-STM
Pool 2: Sale Sharks, Newport Gwent Dragons, Castres Olympique, Pau
Pool 3: Montpellier, Harlequins, Cardiff Blues, Cammi Rugby Calvisano
Pool 4: La Rochelle, Gloucester Rugby, Zebre Rugby, Worcester Warriors
Pool 5: Edinburgh Rugby, London Irish, Grenoble, Agen

2015/16 Tournament weekends

Round 1: 12/13/14/15 November
Round 2: 19/20/21/22 November
Round 3: 10/11/12/13 December
Round 4: 17/18/19/20 December
Round 5: 14/15/16/17 January 2016
Round 6: 21/22/23/24 January 2016
Quarter-finals: 7/8/9/10 April 2016
Semi-finals: 22/23/24 April 2016
Finals: 13/14 May 2016

Ieuan speaks at CISI’s Inaugural Welsh Visit

The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) is the largest and most widely respected professional body for those who work in the securities and investment industry in the UK.

On Thursday 21st May 2015, The CISI hosted a Wales Branch inaugural Dinner at Cardiff Castle. With esteemed guests that included the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, the dinner was CISI’s major social occasion of the year with them celebrating their local, national and global achievements.

Rugby legend Ieuan Evans MBE, former Wales captain and veteran of three British & Irish Lions tours, added his words of welcome and entertained guests at the inaugural annual dinner of the Wales Branch at Cardiff Castle. The event was a fantastic success with over 100 guests, including members of the CISI Board, which earlier in the day had held its first meeting in Wales. Two Board members, CISI Chief Executive Simon Culhane, Chartered FCSI and Alan Ramsay FCSI(Hon), addressed the event.

More than £1,500 was raised at the event for Tŷ Hafan, one of the UK’s leading paediatric palliative care charities which offers the only children’s hospice service in South Wales.

Sponsors of the event included: the Welsh Government, Cardiff City Council, Penderyn Distillery and Gordon Dadds Solicitors.

Welsh legend joins IRB Hall of Fame

Ieuan Evans was among 15 legends of the game to join the elite list and for the first time the IRB recognised the women’s game by introducing six ladies, four of who are World Cup winners, into the Hall of Fame.

The full list of the new inductees announced in London today is: Nathalie Amiel (France), Gill Burns (England), Patty Jervey (USA), Carol Isherwood (England), Anna Richards (New Zealand), Farah Palmer (New Zealand), Keith Rowlands (Wales), Jim Greenwood (Scotland), JPR Williams (Wales), Michael Lynagh (Australia), Jo Maso (France), Keith Wood (Ireland), Ieuan Evans (Wales), Jason Leonard (England) and Bill Beaumont (England).

IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset, who joined IRB Hall of Fame secretary Chris Thau in presenting the caps and pins to the new inductees, said: “The IRB Hall of Fame recognises those who have made an indelible mark on our sport through feats on the field of play, displays of great character or through their tireless and inspirational work in driving forward our great game.”

“It is particularly pleasing to be able to induct the first women into the IRB Hall of Fame. These six were wonderful players and, in many ways, trail-blazers for the women’s game in their countries and around the world. We saw the success of the Women’s Rugby World Cup this year in France and it is doubtful that would have been possible if not for the pioneering spirit of those great players and personalities that went before.

“And the men’s inductions include some of the biggest names in our sport over the past 40 years and all have contributed immensely to the enjoyment we have all felt watching top-level rugby over the decades. Each of these 15 inductees is a true great in his and her own right and has made a positive impression on the sport that will last the test of time.”

Ieuan Evans captained Wales a record 28 times in his record 72 appearances for his country and scored a record 33 tries. He equalled the record for the most tries in a game for Wales when he scored four against Canada in the 1987 Rugby World Cup.

He played in the first three World Cup tournaments, helping Wales to finish third in 1987, and was in the 1988 Triple Crown winning team. He also led Wales to the Five Nations title in 1994 and played for the British & Irish Lions on three tours, winning a Test in each of the three southern hemisphere countries between 1989-1997 and helping the Lions to win a series in Australia and South Africa.

On the club front he helped Bath win the Heineken Cup in 1998 and was in the Llanelli side that beat Australia in 1992. He was made MBE for his services to rugby in 1997 and was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame in 2007.