Scots look for stars in the Evans

Thom and Max Evans were both schooled at Wellington College in Berkshire. So was Eric Arthur Blair, or George Orwell as he preferred to be known when he wrote "Down And Out In Paris And London".

The hope for Scottish rugby is that the Evans brothers will not be down and out in the north of Paris on Saturday, or for that matter in the south-west of London when Scotland bring their Six Nations campaign to a conclusion on 21 March.

The Glasgow backs were yesterday picked in a new-look Scotland XV for engagement in the Stade de France. Both have played for Scotland before but this will be their first stint of national service in tandem, making it quite a week for the multi-talented Evans family. On Tuesday their father's cousin became a father for the first time. Chris Evans, of BBC Radio Two fame, described his 7lb 4oz son, Noah, as "a bit special". Similar things have been said of the Evans boys ahead of their birth as an international rugby partnership.

Thom, 23, played on the wing for Scotland against Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa last year. Max, 25, made his debut as a replacement centre against Canada in November and came off the bench at Murrayfield last Sunday to provide the one shaft of light in Scotland's otherwise dismal 26-13 defeat against Wales, slipping through the clutches of Shane Williams and stepping inside Lee Byrne to claim the home side's only try.

Max makes his first start on Saturday, replacing Ben Cairns at outside centre while Thom comes in for Sean Lamont on the left wing in a team featuring five changes in all, with Simon Danielli on the right wing, Alasdair Dickinson at tighthead prop and Alasdair Strokosch at blindside flanker, but still only a bench berth for Chris Paterson, who registered a 100 per cent goal-kicking record in last year's Six Nations and who kicked three out of three as a replacement last Sunday. Frank Hadden, Scotland's head coach, is clearly hoping that the Evans brothers can bring an X-factor to a team who started the championship on a flat note against Wales.

Both starred in the Glasgow side who produced the result of the season so far in European rugby, a stunning 33-26 victory in Toulouse a month ago. Max scored a try that day while Thom plundered three in the Heineken Cup thriller that went to the wire at Bath in December.

Thom also tops the Magners League try-scoring chart, ahead of a certain Douglas Howlett.

Blessed with blistering pace, Thom was once a sprinter, coached byMargot Wells, wife and mentor of Allan Wells, the fastest Scotsman of all time. He was also a singer and bass guitarist in the boy band Twen2y4Se7en, spending a year on the road touring with Peter Andre and Westlife."It was great having 50,000 girls screaming your name," Thom reflected yesterday. "But it was nothing like it's going to be in the Stade de France. I'm sure it's going to be quite emotional, with Max playing alongside me."

Asked what his "most rock-and-roll moment" as a boy-bander had been, Thom replied: "When I had some female knickers thrown at me."

Max interjected: "It wasn't the worst experience for me either. Girls would notice me in the crowd and say, 'Are you his brother?' They'd all come flocking to me and I'd end up having to run away."

Not that Max is without another notable string to his bow. He spent a year out from rugby as a professional golfer, following in the footsteps of his father, Brian, who played on the European tour.

Scotland team: H Southwell (Edinburgh); S Danielli (Ulster), M Evans (Glasgow), G Morrison (Glasgow), T Evans (Glasgow); P Godman (Edinburgh), M Blair (Edinburgh, capt); A Jacobsen (Edinburgh), R Ford (Edinburgh), A Dickinson (Gloucester), J White (Sale), J Hamilton (Edinburgh), A Strokosch (Gloucester), J Barclay (Glasgow), S Taylor (Stade Français). Replacements: D Hall (Glasgow), M Low (Glasgow), K Brown (Glasgow), S Gray (Glasgow), C Cusiter (Perpignan), N De Luca (Edinburgh).

* Ireland resisted the temptation to tinker with a winning team when they named an unchanged side for their Six Nations match in Italy on Sunday.


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power