Why Bevan French was happy to extend his Wigan Warriors stay
The Aussie full-back delighted fans on Sunday when he signed a new one-year deal, ending speculation over his future.
Asked if there were offers in Australia, the 24-year-old replied: “Yeah there were, but with everything going on, I’ve liked my growth here as a player.
“I’m evolving here with Lammy, and we’ve really good players who I’m learning a lot from.
“Don’t get me wrong, it can be tough, being over here alone. But when you get through that you start to gain confidence.”
French admits the speculation over his future was proving a distraction.
“Any professional sportsman will tell you, you play better when you’re clear minded,” he said.
“I played a game and the first 20 minutes, I made a couple errors and I had to have a chat to myself and snap out of it. So it’s good that I can just talk about footy now.”
Adrian Lam, who brought French over from the NRL when he fell out of favour at Parramatta, is convinced the fans’ favourite has yet to fulfill his potential.
“I do one on one videos with Bevan every week, about where he needs to be in the context of the best full-backs in the world,” said Lam.
“He’s working really hard and I see improvements every week, if he gets it a little bit more in certain areas, he can go to that next level which is what we want him to achieve.”
Wigan have a chance to clinch their first silverware since Lam succeeded Shaun Wane. If they beat Huddersfield in the behind-closed-doors game at Leeds, they will secure top spot – and a week off in the opening round of the restructured play-offs.
Lose, and they will finish third.
“We’ve spoken about the league leaders, that alone should be enough motivation and back up last week’s performance,” added French, who says Wigan’s strong form recently has been in reaction to their defeat in the Challenge Cup semi-final.
“We learned a really tough lesson against Leeds, we were confident going into it but you’ve still got to go into it with the right mindset.
“I think that has flicked a switch in us.”