Dan Evans will enter the record books this weekend when he completes the faster ever century of appearances in Ospreys history, beating the previous quickest by four months.
The full back will make his 100th appearance for the region on Saturday evening in the Champions Cup clash with Northampton Saints just three years, three months and four days after his debut at the Liberty Stadium, a 44-13 over Benetton Treviso on the opening day of the 14/15 season.
That’s a full four months faster than the current record, Richard Fussell’s three years and seven months, and is testimony to 29-year old Evans’ durability and consistency.
In his time as an Osprey, Evans has played in every single Guinness PRO12/14 game and has missed just one European game, a final round dead rubber in his first season. Last season he set an Ospreys record for appearances in a single campaign when he became the first to break the 30-match barrier, finishing on 31, while his 28 tries to date place him seventh in the all time list for the region.
Typically modest, Evans put his remarkable run down to “a lot of luck” while hoping that his incredible run of games has answered a few questions asked of him and the Ospreys when he signed in the summer of 2014.
“It’s not something I’ve really thought until I’ve been told about it this week, but I’m really proud of it” said Evans.
“There’s a lot of luck involved in it I suppose, selection and staying injury free. I can’t think of many other players who’ve been able to go three seasons without missing games through injury so I’m pretty fortunate in that respect.
“When I came here I think there were a few question marks asking why had the Ospreys signed me and hopefully I’ve justified that on the field. I love playing for the Ospreys, hopefully my record shows how hard I work day in, day out, and how much I want to play for this region.
“I can’t get too carried away because any run has to end. I know I’ve got to keep working hard to maintain my place in the team. There are plenty of good players in the squad who can play 15 so I’ll never take anything for granted.
“For most of my time here we’ve played some pretty good stuff. Although things haven’t gone as well this season we are all working as hard as we can to change that and start performing as we should be. If we can do that on Saturday it’ll make it a 100th appearance to remember for the right reasons.”
Head Coach, Steve Tandy, paid tribute to Evans ahead of his 100th game.
“To reach 100 appearances in a little over three years is an incredible achievement in the modern professional game” he said.
“He is the model pro in everything he does. His routines, his preparation and recovery have helped him stay in great condition and allowed him to reach a level of consistency that means he has become a key member of the squad, performing to a high standard week in, week out.
“He may not get the attention or credit outside our environment that he deserves, or that other players receive, but he continues to make a huge contribution to what we do. The plaudits he’ll get this weekend on reaching 100 appearances so quickly are well deserved and we are delighted to have him in our environment.”