Mikalcius can put heat on big names at Quins
IMPOSING Hartpury wing Jonas Mikalcius possesses the “world-class” physical attributes necessary to challenge Test stars Marland Yarde and Tim Visser for their places at Harlequins, according to college teammate Luke Eves.
Lithuanian dynamo Mikalcius, 23, joined the Harlequins academy last year but spent this season at Hartpury, plundering 36 tries in a record-breaking campaign that saw the National One champions win all 30 of their matches.
Mikalcius – who stands 6ft 3in (1.90m) tall and weighs in at 17st 12lb (112kg) – now rejoins Harlequins full-time, with Eves telling TRP: “Physically, Jonas, 100 per cent, has the ability to challenge Yarde and Visser.
“He’s got world-class physical attributes and if you compare him to any winger in world rugby right now, he’d be up there.
“He’ll get in there with Quins now and if he can get his game-understanding up to Premiership standard, he can really kick on. It’s going to be a big year for Jonas but I’m confident he can make those improvements.”
Hartpury will turn their attention to the Championship, which will bring Eves face to face with the Bristol side he left in 2015.
Eves, 28, almost quit rugby after then-boss Andy Robinson’s decided to dump him, before a career twist took him to Hartpury.
Eves said: “If it hadn’t been for Hartpury giving me a chance, I wouldn’t be in this situation now. I’m signed on for next season and will coach the U18s, so I don’t regret anything.
“It’s not gone well for Bristol this season, which must be soul-destroying having fought so hard to get back in the Premiership, but we’ll look forward to welcoming the likes of Ian Madigan and Steven Luatua next season.”
As for Hartpury’s tier two chances, Eves added: “It’ll be uncharted territory for a lot of our guys and we’ll lose a few players like Jonas and Jake Polledri, so we know there’s work to do but the coaches will bring in new people.
“We might surprise a few people.”