Rugby Union: Winger Evans signs for Bath

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The Independent Online
Llanelli lost its favourite son yesterday as Bath pulled off the transfer coup of the summer by signing the Wales and Lions wing Ieuan Evans.

The Welsh record cap holder agreed a two-year contract following negotiations with Bath that were completed just before yesterday's Heineken European Cup deadline.

Bath are believed to have paid around pounds 75,000 to secure his services, while Evans can expect to command a six-figure salary at the Recreation Ground. Evans, who has 71 caps for Wales, will be in familiar territory when he makes his debut for Bath in their opening European Cup match at Sardis Road in Pontypridd on 6 September.

Evans misses Bath's opening Allied Dunbar Premiership games against Newcastle and Harlequins. The 33-year-old is getting married next Saturday and will be on honeymoon for two weeks. Bath are desperate for his arrival as their three other experienced wings, Simon Geoghegan, Adedayo Adebayo and Jon Sleightholme, are all injured.

The Bath coach, Andy Robinson, was delighted with his new player after narrowly failing to sign Gregor Townsend from Northampton. "His Lions' performance in South Africa this summer speaks for itself," he said.

Another Lions hero could also be on the move as Northampton yesterday provided the strongest possible indication that their rugby director, Ian McGeechan, could become the new England coach.

The Rugby Football Union are staying silent over any suggestion that the Lions coach's appointment is now a formality once Jack Rowell's part- time contract expires on 31 August. But Northampton virtually gave the game away when their millionaire backer, Keith Barwell, confirmed they had made Sale a six-figure offer for the New Zealander John Mitchell. Sale have reportedly dismissed the bid for their player-coach.