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Welsh rugby: Ospreys lock Ian Evans 'wanted by Toulon'

Last Updated: 13/11/13 6:44pm

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Ian Evans, on Lions duty, is apparently wanted by Heineken Cup champions Toulon

Ian Evans, on Lions duty, is apparently wanted by Heineken Cup champions Toulon

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Lock Ian Evans is the latest Ospreys forward to be linked with a move to France next season, much to the concern of the club's officials and coaches.

British & Irish Lion Evans has attracted the attention of European champions Toulon, while lock Alun Wyn Jones and prop Adam Jones are also wanted by leading French clubs.

However, Ospreys have indicated that they will try to retain these players' services, all of whom's contracts end next summer.

According to Wales Online, backs coach Gruff Rees said: "We will try our damndest to keep all three players.

"I know Steve Tandy (head coach) is working closely with the board and those discussions are taking place.

"We are proud of these guys and want them to be proud of the Ospreys.

"We want a side which is challenging for honours at the highest level and have to show ambition.

"They are all great around the environment and add so much to the group and have a pride about being Ospreys."

Other Ospreys to fly the nest in recent seasons are Lee Byrne, James Hook, Mike Phillips, Paul James and Huw Bennett.

And Rees went on: "We are massively worried we might shed players.

"We've probably lost more than most in the last couple of years when you consider the internationals who have left.

"But we have tried to create enough international players to sustain the competition and we want to keep doing that. To lose world-class talent is detrimental to that.

"As coaches we speak about this on a weekly basis and we always have to look at succession plans and where we go if we lose, one, two or the horror scenario of three.

"It is a frustrating and tough time. We just have to try and manage things and make the environment as enjoyable as it is at the moment.

"But we have our negotiations going on behind the scenes.

"I am sure these players and their agents are rightfully concerned with the uncertainty we find ourselves in and are considering all their options."

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