Evans excited about playing for the Blues


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The Blues new recruit Nick Evans is looking to display his world class skills for the Blues in 2008, after four seasons with the Highlanders.

“This Blues’ environment is going to be really good for me to improve on all my skills. In the Highlanders I played a very structured game, with the game plan based on forward play and a lot of kicking for territory,” Evans says on the Blues website.

“Everyone knows about the expansiveness of the Blues and the weapons we have out wide, and all over the park. So I am looking forward to expressing myself a lot more.

“People probably look at me and think I am a good tradesman, with a good basic skill set, but I want to show what I did in the World Cup by being more expressive in my play, read the game well, and put our weapons out wide away.”

Evans also speaks of why he decided to play for the Blues, “There is the whole excitement of a new challenge with a new set up, which is one of the main reasons I chose Auckland over Harbour. I felt after four years in Dunedin I was not feeling complacent but was going through the motions a bit, so felt I needed a change when I came back to Auckland.

“What better place to come to than a fabulous set up like Auckland and the Blues, and all the new challenges that come with that. There are a lot of new people coming into the Blues and Auckland, with so many players leaving, which gives me a good chance to step up more as a leader to help the younger players into the professional era.”

Evans was is born and bred on the North Shore and rose to fame playing for North Harbour. He has now 23 Super 14 caps, 16 All Blacks test caps and 61 provincial caps to his name, he has plenty of rugby knowledge to share.

“I’ve been around a little bit now and I have been working on my leadership skills with the All Blacks. It’s important to me that I can help out the young guys and I learn from them too. There are plenty of players at the Blues that I can learn from, and it will be particularly useful working with guys like Isa Nacewa.”

Even though some of the surroundings might look different to Evans after playing for the Highlanders for four years one familiar face in the Blues set up is that of new Assistant Coach Greg Cooper (the players call him Coops), who was Head Coach at the Highlanders for the four seasons Evans played there.

“It is a good move for him and coaching-wise it will be particularly beneficial for Coops. He had to work really hard down at the Highlanders and had a really big work load, but now he can concentrate more on the backline” Says Evans about Greg Cooper.

“I think that will bring out the best in his coaching ability and he is going to be a really good asset to this Blues side.” Evans said on the Blues website.

“I enjoyed Dunedin, and am grateful to the opportunities I had down there, but being up here is great and I am really looking forward to putting in some good performances.” he added.

The Blues had a fairly good season last year just missing out on a place in the final so just a couple of Evans’ “good performances” might be all they need to go that little bit further in 2008.

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