Academy flyhalf Lloyd Evans has taken over the reins at pivot following the dramatic departure of Cipriani from Gloucester in December.
“After much deliberation, I have decided to leave Gloucester with the love, support and blessing of my coach and friend George Skivington,” said Cipriani in a statement in December. The news came hot on the heels of the revelation that Scotland 10 Adam Hastings was set to sign for the club.
Cipriani’s departure had been coming down the tracks, with rumours of a no show at a training session. Cipriani had been operating in a mentoring role to the Welshman and graduate of Hartpury but Evans has now given a glimpse of how their relationship altered as the 25-year-old grew from a pupil into a competitor in their last six months as teammates.
In an in-depth interview with Sam Roberts in TheXV, Evans explains how the relationship went south.
“Early on, he was brilliant. He knows the game so well and he would talk to us young players about how he did what he did. He spent a good amount of time with us,” told the TheXV. “I learnt a lot. He left a big impression on me.”
“But things did change. When I became more of a threat; competition for him. Obviously, all relationships change but I felt it, much more in that last six months or so.”
“It’s difficult because I have so much respect for him as a player and a person. But as I say, I was getting picked more often. It changed things between us. And you need that, you need to feel that edge in sport. It’s important.”
“When I was a young boy, I sat in the changing room after a game at Parc y Scarlets with the team, alongside my heroes; Regan King & Stephen Jones. That does something to your soul."@lloyd_evanss speaks to @samrobertsrugby about his burgeoning career https://t.co/3MNbOZYkgZ
— The XV Rugby (@TheXV) January 16, 2021
Now Evans faces the prospect of the arrival of Hastings from Glasgow, the Cherry and Whites’ biggest transfer signing to date ahead of the 2021/22 season.
“I’m really looking forward to it [Hastings’ arrival]. As I say, I know him a little from playing a couple of times with him when he was at Hartpury before Bath. Yes, he’s competition for my position but people have to understand that is what you need.
“You need to feel uncomfortable. You can’t develop unless people are putting pressure on you. Adam is an incredible player with exactly the skill-set we need at Gloucester. He will make me a better player. There is nothing not to be excited about.”
You can read the full interview on TheXV.rugby HERE. A one year subscription costs just £10 using the promotional CODE: JAN10.
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