Evans praises Welsh youngsters

Former Lions star Ieuan Evans has predicted bright futures for the three Welsh youngsters who performed so admirably in the Help for Heroes charity match on Saturday afternoon. [more]

Evans praises Welsh youngsters

Former Lions star Ieuan Evans has predicted bright futures for the three Welsh youngsters who performed so admirably in the Help for Heroes charity match on Saturday afternoon.

Kristian Phillips, Rhys Priestland and Dafydd Hewitt all played their part in an entertaining fixture that raised £1.1 million for wounded service personnel, with Evans impressed with the way all three handled the magnitude of the event.

”They will have learnt a great deal from the experience, especially playing in front of 52,000 people at Twickenham and it being live on TV,” said the 72-cap winger who managed the International XV that were beaten 29-10 by a Help for Heroes side.

”Occasions like that in arenas like that show you whether you’re comfortable there and whether you’re capable of performing in those sort of conditions. They certainly showed that they are.”

Phillips scored the opening try of the match before leaving the field with a reoccurring shoulder injury and Evans had nothing but praise for the 18-year-old Ospreys winger.

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”I was deeply disappointed that Kristian couldn’t finish the game, particularly after taking his try so spectacularly well.

”There’s no doubt that he has talent and we’ve got our fingers crossed for a quick recovery. I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of him in the near future.

”He’s got great gas, there’s no doubt about that. We saw that in training and we saw that on Saturday in taking his chance and I’m sure he’s got a very bright future ahead of him.”

Scarlets fly-half Piestland also impressed playing alongside the likes of Scott Gibbs, Colin Charvis and Gareth Llewellyn and against stars of the calibre of former Lions Lawrence Dallaglio, Richard Hill and Martin Johnson, while Hewitt made the most of his chance as a second-half replacement.

”Rhys Priestland showed commendable awareness out on the field,” added Evans. “He did very well and looked comfortable out there.

”Dafydd Hewitt got stuck in as well when he got on. He was physical and very abrasive and I think he would have loved playing alongside Gibbsy in midfield.

”All three of them have really enjoyed the experience of being here this week. To a man, they’ve all come up and said how much they’ve enjoyed being a part of it and they will have learnt enormously from it.”

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