Bevan French reveals Pat Richards gave Wigan Warriors his seal of approval

Bevan French at Robin Park this morning
Bevan French at Robin Park this morning

New recruit Bevan French touched down in England this morning - and headed straight to Robin Park to link-up with his new Wigan team-mates.

And after watching them train, he revealed how he sought advice from wing legend Pat Richards before signing for the reigning Super League champions.

French, 23, hadn't considered moving to England despite falling out of favour at Parramatta this year.

He was "caught off guard" by the Warriors' approach but any apprehension soon turned to excitement - helped by a chat with Richards.

"I was caught off-guard when Wigan came in for me, I guess most players come over at the end of their careers," he said.

"But I was aware of the club and the history and my manager's had a couple of players here before who enjoyed it.

"I also had a chat with Pat Richards.

"I didn't know him, but Mark O'Neill works in the office at Parramatta and he played with Pat at Wests, so he put me onto him.

"We had a chat one afternoon and he couldn't talk highly enough about the place and the people. He had nothing but positive things to say about Wigan.

"My main focus is the football, but it's also going to be an eye-opener for me and hopefully I can see a bit of England while I'm here and make some good memories.

"Footy is the main thing but hopefully I can grow as a person while I'm here."

Video interview with Bevan French

French will travel with the squad to Hull FC tomorrow night as he settles in.

Described as a "try-scoring machine" by coach Adrian Lam, he hopes he can make a debut in next Friday's home game against Hull KR.

And while full-back is his preferred position he is comfortable in any backline spots and even at stand-off, and is happy to slot in anywhere.

"I don't expect to come here and walk in anywhere," he said. "I'd like eventually to be full-back week in, week out but I'll do what's best for the team and I'm comfortable anywhere, wherever Lammy puts me I'll try and do my job.

"I want to do what's best for the team, learn from Lammy as well as the other players.

"I didn't know anyone personally before today, but I grew up watching Tommy Leuluai and Jarrod Sammut, and Zak (Hardaker) and Joe Burgess played a bit in the NRL, too, so I know how much quality is here and I'm looking forward to working with them.

"I only landed at 7.30am so I'm still a bit rattled, but it's good to be here and hopefully I can settle in quickly, have a good week in training and play next week."