Alec Evans honoured with naming of NRTC Gymnasium

Thu, Aug 31, 2023, 1:30 AM
Reds Media Unit
by Reds Media Unit
Liam Wright, Brett Clark, Roger Gould, Alec Evans, Alan Jones AO, Kay Evans, Andrew Slack and Shannon Parry inside the newly unveiled Alec Evans Gymnasium at Ballymore. Photo: QRU/Tom Mitchell
Liam Wright, Brett Clark, Roger Gould, Alec Evans, Alan Jones AO, Kay Evans, Andrew Slack and Shannon Parry inside the newly unveiled Alec Evans Gymnasium at Ballymore. Photo: QRU/Tom Mitchell

The Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) has today unveiled the ‘Alec Evans Gymnasium’ in the National Rugby Training Centre (NRTC) at Ballymore.

Surrounded by family, past and present Reds players, QRU Board Members and key Queensland Rugby dignitaries, the former Queensland captain was recognised in the newly constructed facility.

A proud Brisbane Grammar School alumnus, the 84-year-old has been a dedicated servant of the game as both a player and coach at a school, state and national level.

Upon completion of the NRTC facility in June this year, the Alec Evans Gymnasium was furnished with brand new state-of-the-art gym equipment purchased entirely through the generosity of QRU Foundation donors, including current QRU Chairman Mr Brett Clark AM and his wife Mrs Maria Clark.

Commenting on the unveiling of the gym’s naming, Mr Clark said he was honoured to celebrate Alec Evans’ contribution to rugby.

“Alec is a treasured member of the Queensland Rugby family and it’s important to tell the story of those who have helped guide us on the path to victory,” Mr Clark said.

“I’d like to make special mention of Alan Jones AO and thank him for his generous gift to the Alec Evans Gymnasium.

“Alec and Alan hold a special friendship through rugby that has spanned several decades.

“Alec was Alan’s assistant coach at the Wallabies and together they shared much success that included being the only team in World Rugby to have won the Grand Slam and one-of-only-two teams to win a series against the All Blacks in New Zealand, as well as being the last Australian side to win at Eden Park back in 1986.

“Without Alan’s contribution and support for his good friend, we wouldn’t be here today to recognise Alec’s contribution to our game.

“Similarly, I would like to thank my fellow donors Stephen and Karyn Bizzell, John Peden KC and Mandy Peden, and Dr Glen and Lisa Richards for their philanthropic gifts to the gymnasium’s new strength and conditioning equipment.

“Utilised by all Queensland Rugby male and female athletes, this equipment is second to none and will not only support enhanced team performance but foster the development of future talent in Queensland.”

Debuting for Queensland in 1959 (Queensland Representative No.708), few in Australian rugby have contributed more as a player, coach and "keeper of the standards" than Alec Evans.

A Queensland captain and noted hardman, Alec held the record for the most games played for Queensland with 56 caps in 1969.

As a coach, Alec became a renowned forwards coach, holding the singular achievement of being an assistant coach to four Wallabies coaches (Alan Jones AO, Greg Smith, Rod Macqueen AM, and John Connolly).

A succession of Queensland coaches also called-on Alec to sharpen the scrum, earning him the title of "The Scrum Doctor."

He coached Wests, Souths and the Gold Coast to Hospital Cup Premierships.

Internationally, Alec was appointed head coach of Wales and oversaw their 1995 Rugby World Cup campaign.

Attending Brisbane Grammar School, Alec captained the 1st XV to the school's first-ever GPS Rugby Premiership before later returning as a coach and guided them to another title in 1979.

An Honorary Life Member of both the Queensland Rugby Union and Rugby Australia, Alec was inducted into the Queensland Rugby Hall of Fame in 2015.

The Alec Evans Medal is awarded annually to Queensland Premier Rugby’s Player of the Year with Bond University’s Rhian Stowers awarded the medal at last week’s Grand Final Breakfast.

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