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Page last updated at 10:09 GMT, Friday, 31 December 2010

Wales full-back Non Evans retires from Test rugby

Non Evans
Non Evans has won 87 caps for Wales

Wales full-back Non Evans has decided to retire from the international game.

The 36-year-old Cardiff Harlequins player won 87 caps for her country since making her Wales debut against Scotland in 1996, scoring 64 tries.

Evans represented Wales at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in weightlifting and judo and switched sports to compete in wrestling at the 2010 Games in Delhi.

"It's been a very difficult decision... I have decided I'll be retiring from international rugby," Evans said.

"I'm probably going to carry on with the wrestling, I'll carry on playing Sevens rugby and touch rugby.

"There's so many changes in the Welsh squad this year, there's around 10 girls from the World Cup squad have either retired or finished and there's going to be a lot of new youngsters, new coaches, new backroom staff.

"So I made the decision I'd rather retire on the top than linger on.

"I've been playing for Wales since 1996 so it's been my life and every Christmas I come away on a training camp ready for the Six Nations.

"I'm hoping to do a bit of media work and covering some rugby, so hopefully I'll still be involved with the women in some sort of way."

Evans' last game for Wales was at the 2010 Women's Rugby World Cup in England, playing on the wing instead of her usual full-back position in the final pool game defeat to New Zealand - with injury in that game ruling her out of the ninth-place play-off win against South Africa.

I'm probably at the wrong stage of my life to give up a very good career

Non Evans

At the 2002 Commonwealth Games Evans became the first female to compete at two separate sports by entering the weightlifting and judo competitions.

Evans finished seventh in the judo in the 2002 Games in the under-57kgs category and ninth in the weightlifting, where she was forced to compete in the under-63kgs category because of a scheduling clash with the judo.

She had proven her calibre at judo by winning two silver medals at the Judo Commonwealth Championships in 1992 and 1996.

But unfortunately the sport was not a part of the Commonwealth Games during her peak and was only reintroduced to the Games in 2002 in Manchester after a 12-year absence.

Evans set her sights on a second Commonwealth Games by competing for Wales in wrestling at Delhi 2010, but missed out on the chance to win bronze after falling to Nigeria's Lovina Edward in the semi-finals repechage of the freestyle 55kg category.

Having come so close, Evans has not ruled out the possibility of trying to make the Great Britain team for the 2012 Olympics in London.

"With the wrestling I still haven't been given the criteria for 2012 in terms of qualification, so that's the next thing to see which events I need to enter," Evans said.

"I was told by my coach that if wanted to be involved with the British squad and wanted to try and qualify for the Olympics I'd have to try and get to Manchester at least once a week to train... and that's very difficult when you're in full-time employment," said Evans, who works as a medical sales representative.

"One thing I could do perhaps is take a sabbatical or give up work but I've worked my whole life and I'm probably at the wrong stage of my life to give up a very good career to try and go wrestling in Manchester once a week.

"But I am going to continue with the wrestling and see what happens over the next six months."

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see also
Evans secures Commonwealth spot
14 Jul 10 |  Wrestling
Evans eyes Delhi wrestling spot
21 Apr 10 |  Wrestling
Wales Women 29-17 South Africa
05 Sep 10 |  Welsh
New Zealand 41-8 Wales Women
28 Aug 10 |  Welsh
Wales want strong finish - Evans
28 Aug 10 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
Rugby union positions guide
05 Feb 07 |  Laws & Equipment

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