Fans will see some X-factor stars, says Adrian Lam

Adrian Lam believes tonight’s duel between Bevan French and Lachlan Coote will be Box Office.
Bevan French in actionBevan French in action
Bevan French in action

Given the quality in both sides, there are intriguing match-ups across the line-ups – from the front-row to the edges.

And it will be the battle of the Australian full-backs which Lam believes may have a big bearing on the result.

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“I think both have stood out this year, both are very influential for their teams,” said the coach.

“Whichever side can tame the other the best may go some way to influencing the game.

“But I’m pleased for the fans at home who can’t get to the game, they have players like that to watch because both are exciting, both have an X Factor about them and are important to their teams.”

French, 24, says he has been an admirer of Coote since he first watched him while he was still at school, praising his all-round game and saying he can learn from the Great Britain international’s “execution on plays”.

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But asked which player was the biggest influence on his own style, he nods to a former Warrior who played in a Super League Grand Final five years ago.

“I tried to model my game on Matty Bowen,” said French.

“I’d see him do these things and you go out and practice them – he’s not big in stature and had to rely on his speed as well.”

French arrived at Wigan last summer from Parramatta and became an instant crowd-pleaser.

He carried that sparkling form into this year and last week was named the rugby league writers’ Player of the Year and won the club’s own prize, and was shortlisted for the Steve Prescott Man of Steel.

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“To win the competition would be the perfect way to end the year, it’d make it sweeter given what has happened this year,” he said.

“You dream about this, watching games on TV growing up, it’s the finals you remember and for me this has been a long time coming.

“It’s my first Grand Final at the top level and it’s great to be a part of.

“The derby means a lot to both sides and I’m expecting a game like a few weeks ago, which was right up there with any game I’ve played in terms of the intensity and toughness.”

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