Blues

Nick Evans signs with Harlequins

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Blues and All Black first five-eighths Nick Evans has signed a three-year deal with the England-based Harlequins side.


The decision comes after much speculation over where both of the first choice All Black number 10’s will be playing their rugby next season.


The New Zealand Rugby Union is unable to match the offers coming from the North which leaves players with little choice about their future.


After one season with the Blues in Auckland Evans said the decision has been made at the right time for him and he is excited about the move.


“Im 28-years-old and it is what I wanted to do.” he told Sportal.


“Rugby allows me to go over there and see a bit of the world and experience the things that a lot of my mates have been doing so I thought it was a great opportunity for me to go over and do that.


“I really think I’d be a fool if I don’t take this opportunity,” said Evans.


Evans added that the NZRU and All Black coach Graeme Henry tried to keep him playing in New Zealand as the move will put him out of All Black contention, but the desire for him to make the move proved too strong.


“They [NZRU] definitely put some offers on the table and we went through and talked about some possibilities of staying, it really just came down to me putting a positive and negative column up at home and ticking the boxes and working out what was best for me.


“I based the decision on what was going to be best for me and what was a good time for me to go.


“I had a chat to him [Henry] a while ago and obviously he wanted me to stay and I took on board what he was saying, but in the end it was my decision,” he said.


The contract he has signed runs out shortly before the 2011 Rugby World Cup begins in New Zealand so he could make a return and don the All Black jersey again.


Evans said he isn’t expecting to play for New Zealand in 2011 as he has pledged his commitment overseas.


“I’ve made a three year commitment to put my full effort in over there.


“I don’t think I’ll coming back for the World Cup in 2011 but never say never, things might happen and I might end up coming back,” he said.


Evans said that after winning 16 Test caps his feelings for the black jersey hadn’t changed.


“The All Black jersey has always been my dream and I’ve never taken it for granted.


“I would have loved to have played more in the All Black jersey than I have but I’m really proud of what I’ve done.


As Evans will only be moving North next season he is confident that his decision to move should not effect his selection this year.


“I’ll just have to sit down and wait like everyone else but I’m still hoping I’ll be selected and if I don’t get selected it will be because I haven’t been playing well enough rather than this decision I’ve made,” said Evans.


With Dan Carter looking likely to leave New Zealand as well there is a gaping hole in the pivotal position of the All Blacks but Evans said he is sure the spot will be adequately filled.


“Just think about when Mehrts [Andrew Mehrtens] and Carlos [Spencer] went overseas it wasn’t long before Dan Carter, who’s the best in the world, stepped up and took their positions. There’s some outstanding talent in this country.


“I don’t know what he’s [Carter] up to to be honest so it never really came into my mind or factor in my decision,” he said.


Dan Carter has reportedly been offered a contract where he would be able to play overseas and still be eligible to play for the All Blacks and Evans says that he would be pleased if the NZRU changed the laws to allow that to happen so he could play for the All Blacks.


“Well you never know until that day happens, but it’s an opportunity that might come up but we’ll just have to wait and see,” he said.

 

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