At 28, Evans has surprisingly given himself just four more years in the top flight before he retires.
“I want to play until I’m 32 and then retire. I don’t know how many more pre-seasons my body can go through,” said the 200cm prop who calls Punchbowl home. “I want to be playing NRL this year. When I get my chance I’ll try to dominate, do what I do, try and win a comp and get a new contract.
“I want to start well and then see where I’ll be in 2021.”
Evans knows the Eels have plenty of young-gun forwards coming through the ranks, including Utoikamanu and development forward Sam Hughes.
“They’re young lads, but Sammy Hughes is one of the best props I’ve seen for his age, he’s so big and natural – he’s a beast – and Stefano is the biggest and fittest prop I’ve seen, and he’s only 19,” Evans said.
Meanwhile, across town at Redfern, Souths boss Shane Richardson confirmed Jai Arrow was definitely no longer part of their 2020 plans and the club were about to sign off on their 30th and final spot on the roster.
Arrow was only a slim chance to leave the Gold Coast a year early, but an ACL injury suffered by Titans’ teammate Ryan James just over a week ago virtually put a red pen through any immediate move to Redfern.
“We’ve now moved on from Jai, we wish him all the best this year but look forward to him playing with us the next three years after that,” Richardson said.
The Titans were open to releasing the Queensland Origin representative in exchange for a couple of Souths players, but a deal could not be brokered.
North Queensland have also been in dialogue about signing Souths flyer Alex Johnston, but there remains the little issue of whether Souths will contribute anything towards the Townsville deal, and Johnston not wanting to leave Sydney.