LEWIS Evans, the Dragons’ record appearance holder and former captain, will retire at the end of the season.

The 33-year-old from Newport has announced in his Argus column today that he has decided to hang up his boots after 15 campaigns at Rodney Parade.

Evans is currently sidelined by a calf niggle but will attempt to return to fitness to enjoy a last hurrah in the Rainbow Cup, and further stretch his Dragons record of 236 appearances.

Evans made his debut as a replacement against the Scarlets in September 2006, coming off the bench to replace Jamie Ringer and join forces with Colin Charvis and Joe Bearman in the back row.

South Wales Argus:

He was chosen as club captain by Darren Edwards in 2012/13 and then Kingsley Jones opted for him as his skipper in 2016/17, a season in which he passed a pair of records.

In the September Evans passed Steve ‘Jabba’ Jones to become the Dragons’ leading appearance maker on 181 against Zebre and in the March he brought up his double century against Ulster.

Evans was the captain in the famous European Challenge Cup quarter-final win against Gloucester at Kingsholm.

He made the brave late call to go for a lineout and victory from a penalty rather than for the posts to level the scores, a decision rewarded when scrum-half Charlie Davies went over from a maul.

South Wales Argus:

Evans was never capped but was called up by Wales twice, when denied a place on the summer tour to North America in 2009 because of a European Cup play-off and in 2011 he was called up for the post-World Cup clash with Australia after a man of the match display against Perpignan.

He also featured in the Probables versus Possibles fixture at the Liberty Stadium in 2014 ahead of the tour to South Africa.

Evans, a Wales Sevens international, has racked up an incredible 236 appearances for the Dragons despite the region always having a wealth of back row talent.

He has played alongside the likes of Charvis, Ringer, Bearman, Taulupe Faletau and Dan Lydiate, with the ability to adapt his game to help bring out the best in others.

South Wales Argus:

Evans' all-round game and the ability to carry, graft and be a breakdown threat meant that played blindside, openside and number eight, while he also filled in at second row thanks to his lineout knowhow.

Of the current squad, lock Matthew Screech, who is set to return to Cardiff this summer, is closest to Evans' appearance tally on 160.

Centre Jack Dixon, who made his debut against Wasps aged 16 in 2011, could have a shot at getting close to top spot.

The 26-year-old from Newbridge is currently on 137 appearances while 29-year-old tighthead Lloyd Fairbrother is on 141.

It will take something special for a player to match the incredible effort of Evans.

South Wales Argus:


  1. Lewis Evans - 236
  2. Steve Jones - 180
  3. Jason Tovey 178
  4. Adam Black - 163
  5. Ashley Smith - 161
  6. Matthew Screech - 160
  7. Phil Price - 159
  8. Wayne Evans - 157
  9. Hugh Gustafson - 151
  10. Luke Charteris 142