Tuesday 24 October 2017

Toulon snap up Welsh lock Evans

Rugby

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

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 already possess James Hook and Luke Charteris, Racing Metro have 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-cap second-row 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 has been named in the Wales team for Saturday's Test match against the Wallabies in Cardiff.

Umpire turned coach Ciaran Bolger is looking for a second Ulster scalp on Saturday afternoon as the women of Glenanne host Ballymoney in Tallaght.

Bolger masterminded one of the biggest upsets in Irish Senior Cup history last weekend when the Glens slayed Pegasus in Belfast. This time they have home advantage as they meet another side from the North with an impressive cup pedigree.

Last time out, Rachel Lambe was the start of the show as she made two great saves in the penalty shootout that put the Dubliners into the second round.

Bolger will be also be looking for more of the same from Claire Shillington, better known as a cricketer, who scored her side's goal at the Dub.

Though Ballymoney may not be quite the force they were in 2001 when they won this competition they are not to be underestimated.

Glenanne's men also face Ulster opposition as they entertain Kilkeel in the early fixture at the same venue.

A POTENTIAL row over conflicting kit sponsorship between the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) and Athletics Ireland (AAI) in Rio 2016 has been avoided after the OCI signed a new sponsorship deal.

Ireland's Olympic team kit was provided by Asics for London 2012, who were also Athletics Ireland's long-time gear sponsors, but there was potential conflict on the cards after AAI switched kit providers to New Balance in the past year.

However, New Balance have also now become the official kit and footwear provider for the Olympic Council of Ireland in a deal which will include the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia (Sochi) and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

Irish Independent

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