Speaking to Blues hooker Kurt Eklund on an allblacks.com video call from his base in London, Evans said any opportunity to bring back a North v South clash or an All Blacks trial would be welcomed by fans who have been missing out on rugby during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
“I never played in a North v South match, but I played in two All Blacks trials. I think it was about the last two All Blacks trials that were played,” Evans said. “They were brilliant - it was the Possibles v Probables. I made the All Blacks in 2004 by playing well in an All Blacks trial, so it gives a chance for guys to put their hand up against quality opposition.”
Evans, who retired in 2017 after making 208 appearances for Harlequins in the English Premiership, told Eklund how much he had been missing rugby - both as a fan and in his role as Assistant Coach for Harlequins.
“Everyone needs a bit of rugby at the moment, we miss it. I think people would love to see a North v South match or an All Blacks trial. You get to see the two best players in that position against each other and you don’t get to see that a lot. I think it would be great, it’s a good idea and we need rugby,” Evans said.
The North v South clash was an annual fixture on the New Zealand rugby calendar from 1902 through to 1985 with its only stoppages coming during world wars. Since then though, only two games have been played, one in 1995 and most recently in 2012 at Forsyth Barr Stadium.
Evans also spoke about his desire to return to New Zealand one day.
“I want to give back to New Zealand rugby. I loved Dunedin, I loved Auckland and I love the structure of rugby in New Zealand and the way the game is played. I still believe it is the best way to play the game and I think I have a few different ideas and philosophies that could help,” Evans said.
Catch the full interview between Eklund and Evans below: