Injury taints Evans' belated comeback

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The Independent Online

Stuart Evans, the man who fought for three years to be reinstated as an amateur, lasted five minutes of his first senior match in eight years. Playing for the French First Division club Grenoble, Evans severed the achilles tendon in his left leg at the first scrum in the local derby with Bourgoin last weekend.

The 32-year-old former Neath and Wales tight-head prop left hospital yesterday with a plaster cast that will remain for six weeks. He hopes to be playing again within four months. "It was a freak accident. My studs stuck in the ground as the scrum moved and while I twisted, my foot didn't. There was a loud snap and I thought someone had kicked me from behind," Evans said.

"I should be back in January and my long-term aim is to get back into the Welsh team."

The short-term looks like being bleak for Evans. At pounds 300 per match for Grenoble he stands to lose around pounds 5,000 in earnings, not to mention money he would have got for working for the club. Now he must wait to see if the club offer him a contract when he is fit again.

The Wales lock Derwyn Jones is another player who will be out of pocket as a result of injury. The Currie Cup champions, Transvaal, had hoped to fly Jones back to South Africa to fill in for the man who filled him in during last weekend's Test, Kobus Wiese.

Jones stood to make pounds 20,000 over four games, but the Welsh Rugby Union doctor, Bob Leyshon, who treated him at Ellis Park when Wiese floored him, has diagnosed the Welshman as being concussed and he will be out of action for three weeks.

Meanwhile, the 12 First Division clubs in Wales have challenged the WRU's authority by forming themselves into a limited company, "to improve the administration and development of the game".