Rugby Union: Evans named best player

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The Independent Online
IEUAN EVANS emerged with personal distinction from his Welsh team's mediocre season when he won the Whitbread award as the home countries' player of the year in London yesterday, writes Steve Bale.

Wales were Five Nations wooden-spoonists but even so Evans, their captain, scored two championship tries, including the one that beat England.

His form as club-of-the-year Llanelli achieved a Welsh double was superlative, culminating in two tries in last Saturday's cup final against Neath and also one in the Scarlets' defeat of Australia.

Jack Rowell, of Bath and England A, at last became coach of the year. Fred Howard was referee of the year, even though the Rugby Football Union no longer considers him worthy of its international panel.

After five years as full-time coaching director restoring Northampton as one of England's leading clubs, the former England centre, Barrie Corless, is joining Gloucester as rugby administrator. Glenn Ross, the New Zealander who coaches Northampton, will take over from Corless until the club decide whether to appoint a successor.

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