Niall Evalds follows in the footsteps of Castleford Tigers legend Graham Steadman – .

Niall Evalds follows in the footsteps of Castleford Tigers legend Graham Steadman – .

The following year he made his international debut for Great Britain – admittedly in his original stand-off position – in a shock defeat to France at Headingley.

But in 1992, his second cap came with two tries on the bench as the Lions beat France at the Gilbert Brutus stadium in Perpignan – the ground where England face the same opponents today.

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Steadman’s most memorable international moment, of course, came with his dazzling try as Great Britain beat Australia 33-10 in Melbourne a few months later.
Today, however, current Castleford No.1 Niall Evalds, who so quickly fell in love with Tigers loyalists in his debut season at Wheldon Road, will be looking to start creating his own game memories of trial.
In terms of excitement, he brings a similar dash and verve to Steadman and has honed his skills so well that few could argue that he doesn’t deserve his England debut.
At 28 he had to bide his time, but there were a few notable full-backs at the same time including Sam Tomkins, the England captain who is missing today due to injury, and Zak Hardaker, who delighted Castleford fans at 2017 before its infamous ban.
The fact that Hardaker lines up center today, however, shows how well England coach Shaun Wane values ​​Evalds, who won the Lance Todd Trophy despite playing for the losing team in the Tigers Challenge Cup final loss to St Helens in July.
Ready for the international arc: Niall Evalds in England training this week. Image: SWPix
This is England’s first test match since 2018 and the only one this year as there will only be two possible outings in 2022 before the World Cup kicks off next fall.
With that in mind, Yorkshireman Evalds – who has joined the Salford Red Devils – knows he needs to make the most of the opportunity.
“I know Sam (Tomkins) would have been selected if he was fit,” he said.
“He’s Man of Steel and has had an exceptional season.
Graham Steadman of Castleford: Made his own test match memories.
“But it’s an opportunity for me to set a milestone and show what I can do.
“The World Cup is something I will be desperate to participate in.
“There are so many great full-backs the competition is tough, but this rivalry is good for everyone and I’ll take this opportunity to show what I can do.
“I intend to take it with both hands. I’m so excited for Saturday. I’m very proud. Playing for England is something I have wanted to do for a long time now.
“It’s a proud moment for me and my family to be selected, and I can’t wait. “
Although born in Halifax, Evalds has a Latvian heritage.
He conceded: “My brother and I always thought we could play for Latvia one day.
“But England has always been the big goal. My grandfather passed away, but he kept in touch with a lot of people there and still sent money.
“They would go back to Latvia from time to time. Unfortunately, I never went to catch up with some distant members of my family. This is something that I hope to do soon.
Evalds’ international experience involves playing for the England Knights in Papua New Guinea in 2018 and Jamaica the following year.
His progression is therefore further proof that the Knights of the Second Chain function as a concept.
Before his bow in Perpignan, he said: “We talked about not expecting a nice reception from the French public.
“They really support the Catalans there, so we expect the same for the national team.
“We’ve all played in environments where the crowd isn’t on your side so that’s nothing new.
“Waney enjoys working hard for each other and doing all the little percent that wins the big games. It is not too complicated things; it’s about working hard and doing your job for the team.
Evalds added: “With Cas, I enjoyed my first year but I think I can do a lot better – and I plan to do it next year. “
If he puts in 80 minutes today, he could be in a big year for the club and the country in 2022.


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