Eric Evans

Hooker

Eric Evans
Date of Birth 01/02/20
Place of Birth Droylsden, Manchester
Height --
Weight --
Sale Appearances 0
County Caps 74
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Eric was born in Edge Lane, Droylsden a suburb of Manchester and was educated at Audenshaw Grammar School. His first senior club was Old Aldwinians RUFC (now Aldwinians)  for whom he played until he moved to Sale in 1944. He wasn't long at the club before the incumbent hooker broke a leg and Eric was pitched into the 1st XV - a position he held for the next 19 years. After the war he qualified as a sports master at the then Loughborough College and gained a post at Openshaw Technical College in Manchester.

Whilst Eric was of wiry physique this belied an extremely tough, uncompromising, and exceptionally fit individual (he enhanced his fitness with additional training sessions with Manchester United), and also combined straight talking with a passion for the game that was second to none.

Although noted as a hooker, Eric gained the first of his 30 International Caps at prop against Australia on 3rd Jan.1948 and his final game for the national side came when he retired from International rugby at the end of the 1958 Five Nations Championship in the game against Scotland in March of that year. Eric had captained the side 13 times from January 1956 until retirement, and under his leadership England won the Grand Slam in 1957 for the first time in 29 years, and retained the title the following season. Six weeks prior to retirement he led England to a famous victory over Australia at Twickenham.

His Sale career continued for some five years more before he finally hung up his boots at the end of the 1962-63 season. He was a member of the Lancashire side from 1945 until 1957 when he was discarded as being "too old" and won the County Championship title with them on four occasions.

Eric was selected for the Barbarians 18 times between 1946 and 1958 and played against a New Zealand XV in 1954, and in five games on the Barbarians tour of Canada in 1957. His final appearance for the "invitation only" side was on the 8th April 1958 against Newport at Rodney Parade.

Prior to the conclusion of his playing career, Eric returned to his former club to undertake the role of Chairman from 1957-59, and President from 1958-65. In addition he became an England selector, was a member of the Barbarians Committee and subsequently President of Lancashire RU from 1975-76.

For his services to Sale he was elected a Life Member in 1956.

Eric passed away in Stockport on 12th January 1991 just three weeks short of his 70th birthday.

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