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London-based Evans rules out return to New Zealand

Nick Evans has ruled out returning to New Zealand as he investigates the next move in his rugby career.


Nick Evans

NICK Evans has ruled out returning to New Zealand as he investigates the next move in his rugby career.

Former All Blacks No 10 Evans has enjoyed a stellar period at London club Harlequins, but with his contract set to expire at the end of the season, the 32-year-old has a big decision to make.

It is likely to be his last big contract, but he has ruled out returning home.

“I will not go back to New Zealand to play,” he told the BBC.

“If I was to move, it would be to France or Japan.”

Money is a major factor, with the brilliant playmaker able to cash in on his skills far more overseas.

However he was at pains to point out it was wasn’t the only factor.

He has a young family that is settled in London, and Harlequins have offered him a three-year contract.

“There is no pressure either way. For me it is about gathering as much information as I can for post-rugby as well as where my family are going to be best suited over the next three years,” said Evans, currently on the sideline with an ankle injury.

“I’m no spring chicken, but I’d also love to stay. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

“I’ve been away from New Zealand a while, but I do love London.

“I have a great time here and work really well with Quins. The company’s awesome.”

Evans shifted to England in 2008, having played 16 tests for the All Blacks as backup to Dan Carter.

Quins are confident of keeping their man.

“We’ve offered him what he wants in terms of length,” director of rugby Conor O’Shea told the ERC website.

“It’s up to him now. We’ve put our best foot forward.”

“We want him here for another three years and hopefully that will happen.

“He would have left here a long time ago if it was about money.

“It’s about making the right decision for him, his family and the long term. If he decides to leave we’ll move on, but there’s not a player at the club, nor a coach or supporter who doesn’t want him here.

“People say he’s one of the best players in Europe and even the world. Suffice for me to say he’s so exceptional I’d pay to watch him train.”