The Warriors have confirmed the departure of erratic prop Kane Evans, released from the second year of a two-season contract as the 29-year-old eyes off a Super League deal.
“By mutual agreement we’ve parted ways amicably to enable Kane to pursue opportunities in the Super League,” said Warriors recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan.
“We thank Kane for the contribution he has made this season and wish him all the best for his future in England.”
Evans was trumpeted as a key signing for 2021 last August, but his 14-game stint is destined to be remembered as one of the most bizarre and ill-fated in the club’s history.
Battling injury early in the season, the towering former Sydney Roosters and Parramatta forward made his Warriors debut in the last-minute loss to Manly in Round 5. What followed was largely a series of pedestrian performances marked by errors, penalties and an alarming lack of impact belying his 114kg frame.
Coach Nathan Brown stuck solid with the polarising enforcer, continually picking Evans ahead of the likes of 2020 Rookie of the Year Jamayne Taunoa-Brown and the seldom-used Tom Ale.
Evans first garnered negative headlines when he was spotted with ‘FOLD SOME CUNT!!’ written on his wrist taping while sitting on the bench as 18th man during the Warriors’ gutsy Round 18 defeat to Penrith.
Recalled a couple of weeks later, Evans’ campaign went downhill in Round 21 against Cronulla, when he repeatedly took serial niggler Will Chambers’ bait and was sin-binned twice – including once for punching – among four penalties conceded, while also committing two errors during a diabolical 28 minutes on the field.
The 13-Test Fijian international served a one-match ban before inexplicably returned to the Warriors’ bench as a late call-up for their must-win Round 24 clash with Canberra. It all unravelled again for Evans a week later in the final round, again sin-binned for unleashing with a flurry of (non-landing) punches to finish a spiteful encounter with finals-bound Gold Coast in the sin-bin.
Evans copped a five-match suspension, meaning he would have been available until Round 6 next season if he was sticking around.
All told, Evans averaged 70 running metres and 17 tackles for the Warriors. He played a season-high 37 minutes in the Round 8 loss to North Queensland – one of three match his running metres tally reached triple figures – while he racked up six penalties and six errors in his 14 games.
Evans’ 131-game NRL career began in 2014 at the Roosters, where O’Sullivan was then the club’s recruitment manager. The renowned guru’s decision to bring Evans to the Warriors must rank as one of the great blemishes on his glittering recruitment record.