All Black utility back Nick Evans said he had a good “chuckle” when he heard New Zealand coach Graham Henry attack the extent of imports in European club rugby, describing the Kiwi official’s remarks as “misguided”.
Rugby 365 Evans was a stand-out for Harlequins in their gutsy 15-10 win over Stade Francais in a Heineken Cup clash in Paris at the weekend.
Evans quit New Zealand rugby following the Blues’ 2008 campaign in the Super 14, signing a lucrative deal with London-based Harlequins.
Henry said during the All Blacks’ Grand Slam-winning tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland that the increased influence of New Zealanders in European club rugby threatened to impact on the respective country’s national teams.
However, Evans said that was not the case, saying overseas stints should be win-win scenarios for both players and their clubs alike.
“I did have a bit of a chuckle when I read what he said,” Evans told the Mail.
“I mean, it wasn’t so long ago that Graham Henry was coaching Wales.
“Graham wants to keep all the best players in New Zealand, so I can see where he’s coming from, but there’s another side to the story.
“For a start, I am the only Kiwi at Quins. I turn up for training with the squad and half of them are young English boys under the age of 22.
“They learn from me and I learn from them. I can provide them with information from a Southern Hemisphere perspective and they provide me with bags of youthful exuberance.
“We know what our goals for the season.”
Evans has joined fellow 2007 World Cup All Blacks Byron Kelleher, Anton Oliver, Carl Hayman, Aaron Mauger and Doug Howlett in Europe.Tweet