Toulon sign lock Ian Evans on three-year-deal from Ospreys

Welsh exodus continues as Lions player joins European champions

Ospreys lock Ian Evans will join Toulon on a three-year deal. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

Ospreys lock Ian Evans will join Toulon on a three-year deal. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images


Heineken Cup holders Toulon have announced the signing of Wales international lock Ian Evans.

Toulon confirmed Evans’s capture in an announcement on their official website. He has agreed a three-year contract and will move to France from the Ospreys next summer.

Evans, 29, will continue an exodus of top Welsh players either to France or England’s Aviva Premiership.

Perpignan pair James Hook and Luke Charteris already ply their trade in France, as do Racing Metro recruits Jamie Roberts and Dan Lydiate, while Clermont Auvergne recently announced they had swooped for Wales centre Jonathan Davies next term.

Elsewhere, wing George North is in his first season with Northampton, while Paul James continues to be a key member of the Bath pack.

Evans becomes Toulon’s third new recruit for next season, following his fellow forwards Guilhem Guirado and Mamuka Gorgodze.

But the 31 times-capped secondrow will also become part of a squad that includes world stars like Jonny Wilkinson, Bryan Habana, Matt Giteau, Carl Hayman and Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe.

Evans, a member of the British and Irish Lions squad that toured Australia earlier this year, has been named in the Wales team for Saturday’s Test match against the Wallabies in Cardiff.

It will be his second start of the autumn series after recovering from an Achilles injury.

Speaking earlier this month about his future, Evans said: “There is a lot of speculation.

“It is important to make the right decision, but when the time comes I would be fairly confident I would have made the right decision.

“There have been offers from England and France. There is a lot on the table, but it is not really a distraction.

“It is a balancing act. There are obviously issues that you’ve got to consider and decisions you’ve got to make, but I’ve got a family on the way and first and foremost that is what I am looking after to be honest.”

A number of Evans’s current national squad colleagues are also out of contract with their regions at the end of this season, including Ospreys forwards Alun-Wyn Jones and Adam Jones, plus Cardiff Blues stars Sam Warburton and Leigh Halfpenny.

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