Would you rather hear thousands of teenage girls shouting your name out loud or listen to the sound of a hostile crowd booing your every move? For Thom Evans, it’s no contest.
The Glasgow wing, together with brother Max, was selected on Wednesday in the Scotland team to play France in tomorrow’s Six Nations match in Paris after the duo were both controversially omitted by coach Frank Hadden from the starting side that lost 26-13 to champions Wales in last weekend’s tournament opener.
Five years ago Thom Evans was in a boyband Twenty-Four Seven while Max, now a center, was a professional golfer.
“It was obviously great when you had 50,000 girls screaming your name,” Thom Evans said after being named alongside his brother in the Test team for the first time.
Max, who saw Thom support the likes of Westlife and McFly, added: “Girls would notice me in the crowd and say: ‘He looks a bit like [Thom]. And they would all come flocking to me, saying ‘Are you his brother, are you his brother?’ And I’d end up having to run away,” explained the midfielder, who came off the bench to saw Scotland’s only try against Wales.
But Thom, who aged 23 is the younger of the two Evans brothers, said: “It’s nothing like to what Saturday’s going to be like. I’m sure it’s going to be quite emotional and it’s something I absolutely can’t wait for.”
That emotion first kicked in when the brothers, who attended boarding school in England, spent time with their rugby-mad grandfather, after whom Thom is named.
“He was a proud Scot and he supported anyone that played against England,” Max said. “It’ll probably be quite emotional come Saturday knowing that he’d be very proud upstairs for both his grandsons.”
Max, who until two years ago was a professional golfer in Portugal before deciding to swap his clubs for rugby boots, said his initial ambitions didn’t stretch beyond playing for Glasgow.
“When I came up to Scotland, the first aim was to play for Glasgow together,” he said. “And then were spoke about how great it would be to play for Scotland.”
“It’s a massive dream come true; I’m so excited about Saturday — on a personal note just starting myself, but also to be starting alongside my brother,” Max said.
Hadden has made five changes to his side in total.
Simon Danielli came in for the injured Simon Webster on the right wing while up front prop Geoff Cross’ head injury paved the way for the return of Alasdair Dickinson. In the back-row Alasdair Strokosch was chosen ahead of Allister Hogg.