Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Castres ace Evans sends out warning

There's nothing to gain for Castres but a ‘laissez-faire’ attitude is the last thing on the French side's minds

Castres' flying Scot Max Evans has warned Ulster that his side will not willingly roll over as Mark Anscombe's men chase the maiden win on French soil that could guarantee them a vital home quarter-final.

With the French side already out of the competition, and unlikely to qualify for the second tier Amlin Challenge Cup, it could have been assumed that the French may display a typically laissez-faire attitude to their final pool game.

Evans, the 29-year-old Torquay-born utility back, underlines just why this will not be the case.

“From our point of view, whatever team we may put out, after injuries and stuff are taken into consideration, we will be giving 100% because a lot of the guys are eager to make an impression,” says the former golf pro.

“Pedrie Wannenburg would be a prime example of that. He's had a frustrating season; he hasn't been able to get a run of games.

“So, if he's playing against his old club, he will be up for it.

“And we tend to be a different team at home. It's commonly known that a lot of French teams don't travel well and I discovered that when I joined. No French team likes losing at home.”

Castres, well-placed for the Top 14 play-offs, have only lost once at Stade Pierre-Antoine this season — unluckily to Toulouse. But they will be without metronomic goal-kicker Romain Teulet, while Daniel Kirkpatrick is also a doubt.

For his part, Evans' personal motivations are clear; he has only resumed playing after featuring in Scotland's dismal November loss to Tonga, the defeat that finally put paid to Andy Robinson's reign as national coach. Dropped for the first time when fit for the previous week's clash against New Zealand, Evans is eager to impress new national boss Scott Johnson ahead of the Six Nations.

“It's been a frustrating time for me because I also missed the back-to-back games against Glasgow and that would have been a very special couple of weeks for me,” adds the Scot.

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