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Evans to make the most of his opportunity

Guinness PRO12 Editor

21 Apr 2011

Newport Gwent Dragons rookie Jonathan Evans is hoping to stake a claim for a regular match-day spot when he lines up against Edinburgh on Friday.

The 18-year-old marine geography student will make just the third start of his Dragons career in the Magners League clash at Murrayfield.

Evans admits he could never have imagined running out at the home of Scottish rugby at the beginning of the season but he is determined to make the most of the opportunity.

"I've been with the Dragons since U16 level and have come through their academy system," said Evans.

"I was brought in last season and made my debut against the Ospreys just after sitting my A-Levels. I spent the summer training with the seniors and have just spent the season training with them.

"This is my region, they gave me the opportunity and I've pushed on and worked hard. But this is definitely a big chance for me.

"I never thought I'd even be part of the senior side this season. I was just expecting to get a place on the bench now and then. But I've already started two games this year.

"I've gone past all my aims for the year. But hopefully I can now push on to become a regular first-team player and deputy to Wayne Evans.

"The Dragons have shown they hand out opportunities and pick on form. They keep a close eye on the Premiership. But at the moment I'm stuck in between the two sides.

"Because I'm with the Dragons I can't just go back and start for Newport. So I'm stuck in between and find myself on the bench for both sides."

The Caerphilly-born teenager models his game on Wales scrum-half Dwayne Peel. But unlike the British & Irish Lions tourist, Evans is anything but used to playing on the big stage.

"I always used to watch Dwayne for the speed," added Evans. "How quick his service is and how he gets around the field. That's how I like to play and I think it suits the style Darren Edwards wants us to employ.

"I've never played at Murrayfield but went up with friends for the Wales v Scotland game this year. It's an awesome stadium.

"I'm just concentrating on myself but a win would be brilliant and would put us on the right road as a team."