Wayne Pivac: Scarlets coach explains omission of Wales wing Steff Evans

Steff Evans has won 12 Wales caps after making his Test debut against Tonga in June 2017
Steff Evans has won 12 Wales caps after making his Test debut against Tonga in June 2017

Scarlets coach Wayne Pivac says Wales wing Steff Evans will return to the regional match-day squad after he sorts out weaknesses in his game.

Evans was starting for Wales almost 12 months ago in the Six Nations but has fallen out of favour with his region this season.

The 24-year-old was left out of Scarlets' squad against Dragons with Pivac naming areas he needs to improve.

"Steff has two sides to his game," said Pivac.

"We know he has got very good footwork and has done a lot for us in attack in the past.

"At the moment it is about being tougher with the ball in the contact area.

"He has got the highest turnover rate and teams are targeting him with the high ball. That's plain for everyone to see.

"He is working on those areas of his game and we would like to think he will be joining our ranks again after some more hard work behind the scenes, which is ongoing."

Evans started the season in the Scarlets A side after making a recovery from a knee injury suffered on Wales' summer tour.

The wing has only started two league games for the region this campaign but featured in all four European defeats.

Evans was involved in Wales' unbeaten autumn international campaign, starting against Tonga and coming on as a replacement against Scotland.

Pivac, who will take over from Warren Gatland as Wales coach after the 2019 World Cup in Japan, has made some controversial Scarlets selections this season.

The New Zealander picked Wales centre Hadleigh Parkes at fly-half for the Pro14 defeats against Ospreys and Cardiff Blues because of concerns over the defensive game of Dan Jones and Rhys Patchell.

With Patchell sidelined with a hamstring injury, Jones starts at 10 against Dragons with Parkes reverting to his preferred position.

"We went with Hadleigh over the last two weeks after looking at the opposition we were playing and what was coming down that channel," said Pivac.

"One of our 10s is probably at the bottom of the competition for tackle completion and the other one was not far off.

"It was costing us in games and we went with Hadleigh to shore up that part of the game.

"We have had a chat with Dan after he came on last weekend (against Blues) and he knows he played far from the perfect game.

"It is about form as well. Last year and the year before count for a certain amount, but it's about form on the board as well this season and we have struggled again this season."