CHRIS KIRWAN SAYS: Change perfect tonic for resurrection men
Sometimes it’s in everybody’s interests to go their separate ways.
Two left-footers have talked this summer about needing to move and get a fresh start.
Last week Jason Tovey said that he had gone stale at Newport Gwent Dragons and hoped that making the switch to Cardiff Blues would shake him out of his comfort zone.
It was almost a word-for-word repetition of what Dan Evans said after arriving at Rodney Parade from the Scarlets.
Tit-for-tat exchanges can occur when it comes to contracts in the world of rugby.
A player might say that they turned down a deal and the club may counter by stating they withdrew an offer, seeking better value elsewhere.
But sometimes a move can be best for both parties. Hopefully that will be the case for both Tovey and Evans.
Tovey’s progress stalled last season. The 23-year-old from Cwmcarn was a terrific prospect when he burst on the scene with Bedwas and Newport; he was an exciting runner that kicked his goals.
International honours looked sure to follow with then Dragons head coach Paul Turner bedding him in at full-back before shifting him to 10.
But Tovey has lost his way, his languid demeanour that previously led to him being called a natural footballer instead being leaving him open to accusations of being lazy and too relaxed.
Perhaps he does need to get out of his comfort zone; perhaps he does need to grow up a bit. At the age of 23 he is no longer a prospect, he is a seasoned campaigner that needs to be consistently controlling games.
He was certainly not the only Dragons player to be out of form in the first half of last season but he needs to be more assertive.
Hopefully, the Blues can get the best out of Tovey and help him produce the form that at least makes coach Warren Gatland, who is not a great fan, consider bringing him into the Wales setup.
Tovey heads west along the A48 without a cap to his name but Evans arrives at Rodney Parade as a Wales international, albeit his two appearances coming in North America while the Lions were touring in 2009.
A return to the Wales fold is not on his mind at the moment – he just needs to play after being on the fringes at Parc y Scarlets.
Like Tovey, Evans looked a real prospect when he first broke through and by all accounts he is looking back to his best in pre-season training.
Eyebrows were raised in the Premiership when the Dragons signed him – he spent much of last season with Carmarthen Quins and at times looked like a player that had fallen out of love with the game.
But he says has got the fire back in his belly and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he is a mainstay of the Dragons team this season, maybe even at fly-half with fellow new arrival Tom Prydie at 15.
He will be motivated by the desire to prove a point to the Scarlets just like Tovey want to show the Dragons what they are missing.
It can hurt to see an old favourite producing the goods in another team’s jersey but it’s better to let them fulfil their potential than simply fester, leaving you pondering what might have been.
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