Though Ian Evans has had his confidence dented countless times by more than his fair share of injury torment, the Wales and Ospreys lock says moments such as winning the 2013 Six Nations title make all the pain worthwhile.
Evans and some of his international colleagues were present at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff on Wednesday to launch the new 2013-2015 WRU home kit. [WATCH THE LAUNCH VIDEO HERE]
Alex Cuthbert, Toby Faletau and Evans joined a legion of loyal Welsh supporters on the national stadium’s hallowed turf to form an ‘army of red’ for a unique photo opportunity.
And if any one player embodies the roller-coaster of highs and lows an entire rugby-mad nation goes through whenever the double Six Nations champions are in action, it’s the South Africa-born 28-year-old.
“Having so much bad luck with injuries has a massive effect on you,” Evans told Eurosport-Yahoo!. “It makes you question whether or not you can even carry on.
“After I suffered a setback with my knee, it took me a few weeks to get my head back on straight and convince myself that I could return from it.
“There are premature retirements all over rugby, such is the physical toll.
“It’s events like the Six Nations and the British and Irish Lions Tour that make you work even harder to recover. As a rugby player you really want to be a part of those.
“Those moments make all of the hard work to overcome the setbacks worthwhile.”
Unfortunately for Evans, though he was one of 15 Welsh players selected for the Lions’ tour of Australia, he was not named in any of the three Test matchday squads.
Nonetheless, Evans’ appraisal of a frustrating situation was nothing but classy.
“Stuff happens,” he explained. “The better person got the jersey and you have to accept that.
“Hat’s off to Paul O'Connell, Alun Wyn Jones, Geoff Parling and Richie Gray, they deserve what they achieved."
Evans remains optimistic for what lies ahead – and he looks forward to doing so in the new kit, of which he has already grown extremely fond.
“The new Under Armour kits really emphasise the colour red more than usual,” Evans said.
“I like that because the colour red really embodies sporting success on these shores, when you think of Wales and the Lions in rugby, as well as Manchester United, Liverpool and the 1966 World Cup final in football.
“As a Liverpool supporter, it even looks as though the lads at Anfield could even be getting that winning feeling back – it’s been a great start to the season under Brendan Rodgers and I’m proud of all of them, I hope they keep it up.
“I’m not going to hold my breath, though. Pool fans are used to seeing any optimism wiped out by Christmas, but you never know. I’ll have my fingers crossed!”