Raiders snap up Wales international Ben Evans

Barrow Raiders are delighted to announce the signing of Bradford Bulls forward Ben Evans on a two-year deal from the 2023 season. 

The Wales international arrives at the Matt Johnson Prestige Stadium boasting a wealth of experience, having initially come through the youth ranks at Warrington Wolves after signing alongside brother Rhys. 

Loan spells at Bradford Bulls, Leigh Centurions and Rochdale Hornets followed, before Evans left the Wolves to join London Broncos ahead of the 2017 season. 

He made close to a half-century of appearances for the Broncos before subsequently making the switch to Toulouse Olympique in 2019. 

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The 29-year-old returned to the Bulls prior to the 2021 season and has made 33 appearances for the club during his current spell, scoring five tries in total. 

On the international stage, Evans made his Wales debut against France in 2012 before going on to represent his country at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, scoring in their 32-16 defeat to Italy. 

Ben Evans [left], pictured for Wales. Photo credit: Dave Gibson Photography
He also started in the Dragons’ recent test match against France in Albi – a game which also saw current Raiders forward Tom Hopkins make his international debut. 

On the announcement, Ben Evans said: “I’m excited to be joining the club. I spoke a lot with Gary Wheeler before joining. I’ve played with him before and he told me a lot about how the club works, so I’m looking forward to it. 

“Barrow is a club with ambition. They made a lot of big signings last year, and hopefully get some more this year. I’ve heard a lot about where the Raiders want to go, so now I’m eager to help them reach those goals.

“There are quite a few boys there that I know from various clubs, so I’ve spoken to a lot of them before making the decision to join. They’ve all said how much they enjoy it and really sold it to me.

“I’m looking forward to showing the fans that I can be a hard-working player. I’ve got lots of experience at Championship level, so hopefully I’ll bring that to the team, do my job in the middle of the field and get the team moving forward.”

Barrow Raiders chairman Steve Neale said: “Following our strong start to the season, and the threat of relegation removed, it has given us the perfect opportunity to start our recruitment early and to cherry pick some of the best players in the Championship. 

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“The exciting part of our journey is that players are now contacting us, realising we are a club on the up. Ben will considerably boost our pack and we are delighted to get him onboard.”

Raiders director of rugby Andy Gaffney said: “When we knew Ben was available for next season, we had no hesitation in trying to sign him. 

“I have spoken and met with Ben a number of times, and his attitude and performances on the pitch will only make us stronger next season. 

“We have fought off stiff competition from a number of top Championship clubs for his signature, and it is fantastic that Ben has chosen to join the Raiders. He is a very hard runner, a great defender with a good offload and he can play anywhere in the pack. 

“It’s great that, as a club, we can look at next season already. This signing also shows that the club is on the right pathway moving forward.”

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