Thursday, 7 October 2010

Good Evans

Reports in the New Zealand press this week suggest that a man allegedly posing as a member of the 1977 British Lions team has been enjoying VIP treatment in Rotorua.

Gareth Evans, a Rotorua-based tool maker who claims to have emigrated to New Zealand from Wales in 1983, has apparently been passing himself off as the former Welsh international winger Gareth Evans who played three Tests for the Lions on the 1977 Tour of New Zealand.

On on the strength of his false claims Mr Evans has been wined and dined by the Rotorua Chamber of Commerce, met with civic leaders and was a recent guest of the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union for their match against Otago.

As scams go, this one was harmlessly small-scale and really quite clever, obviously working on the premise that the real Gareth Evans is hardly a household name and that no one, least of all Rotorua's alickadoos, would be any the wiser. Sadly, however, the ruse was rumbled when the Rotorua Review's top investigative journalist obviously smelt a rat and contacted the real Gareth Evans who, it turns out, has never lived outside Wales.

Meanwhile in South West France an Englishman by the name of Iain Balshaw continues to insist that he used to play rugby for England.

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