FEATURE INTERVIEW | Georgia Evans
If there was an award for the ‘Woman of Steel’ in the Allianz Premier15s then Saracens star Georgia Evans would be a cert to win it.
Her bruising play in either the second or back row would make her an instant contender, but now she can add the fact she has got metal plates and screws in her left forearm to make her an even tougher task to tackle.
The 25-year-old Welsh international found herself as the centre of attention in the recent game at Bristol Bears when she seriously injured her arm in a freak accident. She dislocated her wrist and broke her radius and ulna.
As painful as it was at the time, and the fact she had to undergo surgery two days later, she is still setting her sights on being back in time to compete for a place in the Premier15s semi-final and, hopefully, final.
“My only previous injury since I took up rugby about eight years ago was a dead leg that kept me out for one game. This time I’ve gone to the other end of the scale with a proper, gruesome injury.” said Evans.
“Last year I shared a flat with Hannah Botterman and Bryony Cleall and I couldn’t believe how often they went under the knife and how hard they worked to recover as quickly as possible.
“It was painful and scary at the time, but the medical attention I received on the pitch, in the medical room at the hospital in Bristol and then from the Saracens medical team was simply incredible. I’d heard some horror stories from a few other players at clubs in the Premier15s from the past few seasons, but I couldn’t fault the way in which I was treated.
“They pumped me full of morphine for the pain and got me into theatre within two days. It made me feel valued and was nothing more or less than the players in the men’s team would have received.
“To me that shows how far the women’s game has come and how caring and protective of their playing assets they are at Saracens. Now all I want to do is repay them by recovering to full fitness in time to play my part in the title race.”
Evans’ rehab is being jointly managed by Saracens and the Welsh Rugby Union, where she is on a retainer contract. The injury means she will miss the whole of the TikTok Six Nations.
“The first thing that went through my mind after the injury was that this is World Cup year for the women’s game. We’ve all been waiting so long for the tournament in New Zealand in October,” added Evans.
“Then the pain and severity of the injury took over. Inside the medical room they were concerned they couldn’t find a pulse in my wrist and so decided they had to re-set my wrist.
“The worry was that I could lose my arm, which was a bit freaky. When they put my wrist back in place that’s when I screamed the loudest!
“They pumped me with enough pills to ease the pain and at 11.30pm on that Sunday night I called ‘Sonic’ Green, who is vice-principal at Saracens High School where I teach, and told her I didn’t think I’d be in the next day.
“She has been great with me as well and I’ve had a couple of weeks off school to get over the surgery. The good thing is that I’m back on my feet and the two titanium plates I’ve now got in the forearm will allow me to start running again next week.
“Running is not usually my thing, but I can’t wait to get stuck into my rehab. I want to come back fitter, faster and stronger than ever before and I want to be back in time for the semi-finals.”
If everything goes to plan, Evans hopes to play a part in the final two rounds of this season’s Premier15s tournament and make up for the disappointment of losing in last year’s final. She also realises she is going to need game time if she is going to convince the Welsh coaches to take her to the World Cup.