Evans develops into Fijian leader
Roosters front-rower Kane Evans is just one of five Fijian forwards with first grade experience named to play Papua New Guinea on Saturday night but is still blown away by his newfound leadership role in the team.
Evans said the fact he is one of the side's leaders a little over two years since he made his debut for Fiji at the 2013 World Cup was overwhelming.
The 24-year-old has made a huge effort to make the native Fijians feel welcome in the squad with Bati coach Mick Potter bringing several local players to Sydney for the Test.
Evans said the roles former Bati teammates Petero Civoniceva and Ashton Sims played in his development has inspired him to help other rookies better their own performances.
"Three years ago I was the baby of the side. Petero was the big dog and the Sims' were there which was good. I learnt so much off them. They were able to pass on their knowledge and I now take that with confidence moving forward," Evans told NRL.com.
"The boys who have come over from Fiji are loving Sydney. I just want to show them the best time while they're here so hopefully when they get back to Fiji they can show me a good time.
"I remember when I first started playing for Fiji, all the older boys welcomed me and made it the best time possible for me. I'm just trying to be the best person I can be for them and hopefully they can return to Fiji and pass on their new knowledge and skills.
"That's why the culture is so good here because the older boys pass on all their knowledge and I'm trying to follow through with that."
Fellow Fijian teammate Kevin Naiqama has been blown away by Evans's development and how much he has embraced the Bati culture since his debut.
"Kane has come a long way. It hasn't come easy for him. If you ask him for his story when he was younger, he struggled to make junior teams when he was coming through the grades," Naiqama told NRL.com.
"To see where he is now is just a credit to himself and the hard work he has put in. He still puts in plenty of work to better himself and he's definitely come very far.
"I reckon he's on the verge of playing Origin because I rate him that highly. For someone who is only half-Fijian too he definitely acts full-Fijian," he added with a laugh.
Evans was ultimately blessed to return to the Fijian set-up after he chose to play for City Origin last representative round.
While he doesn't regret his choice to play in Wagga Wagga last year, Evans said he did feel "empty" at the time.
"I feel satisfied being back. When I chose City I didn't really feel good about myself. There was a bit of emptiness inside of me but to be back with the boys and being in the Fijian camp is mad," Evans said.
"I don't regret playing for City though, don't get me wrong. I definitely learnt from it and it was a good experience but it's good to be home now. We're doing our devotions every day, training together and having a laugh so it's all good."