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.