British & Irish Lions lock Ian Evans says today’s game in Newcastle could be his one shot at a securing a Test place.
The Wales and Ospreys star will start in the second row against a Combined New South Wales Queensland Country XV at the Hunter Stadium knowing that the three-match series with the Qantas Wallabies is now just a week-and-a-half away.
Evans packs down alongside Richie Gray in game four, having played with clubmate Alun Wyn Jones in his previous start against the Western Force seven days ago.
And with such stiff competition for a spot in the boilerhouse in Brisbane on June 22 – 2009 tour captain Paul O’Connell and England’s Geoff Parling are also in the mix – Evans knows he has to make a positive impression in the northern district of New South Wales.
“I think so,” was Evans’ response when asked if this was his last chance of pressing his Test case.
“Any chance you get to pull the jersey on is your one shot at it.
“You’ve got to go out there fully loaded and put your name amongst things when the selection comes across. I suppose this is my chance really.”
The Lions are heavy favourites to maintain their 100 per cent record against former Glasgow prop Cameron Baldes’ representative outfit but Evans insists they won’t be going out expecting an easy ride.
Any thoughts of surpassing the 59 points they scored against the Barbarians or the 69 they put past the Force will be confined to the media rather than the men who take the field says Evans, who insists he and his colleagues have to concentrate on putting their style of play and structures into place as quickly and effectively as possible.
“First and foremost, we’ve got to get our game plan in place in order to start that,” added Evans, who is looking forward to being led by matchday captain Brian O’Driscoll for the second time on tour.
“I don’t think you can start looking too far ahead to 50 or 60 points.
“You’ve got to do what you’ve done in training, put that on the field and then everything else takes care of itself really.
“Brian is an experienced campaigner. You hear stories from outside of the camps but just being in training with him just shows what a quality player he is and how lucky you are to be training and playing in his environment.”