Wigan Warriors- Talking Rugby: From day one it was clear Bevan French was capable of something special
Every so often there’s a moment where you can just feel something special happening, and Bevan French’s record-breaking seven tries was exactly that.
It was a game that won’t be quickly forgotten, and was a truly fantastic spectacle for everyone watching on.
The confidence in him was clear, and to witness such a superb achievement was unbelievable.
Talks about potential records began in the press box soon after his fourth, as it was quite clear he was in the mood for many more.
At first the discussion was about the club record for most tries scored in a Super League game, which was five at the time.
Once he smashed that, attention turned to the figure for the entire competition.
Some teams can’t score seven in one game, never mind a singular player.
Every time he received the ball, it was never in doubt that he would find the line.
His quick footwork was devastating, and filled the Hull FC defence with fear, as he danced round them for fun.
Even if some of them were just simple finishes, French still needed to be alert to take them.
Matty Peet made the decision to take him off for a rest just before the hour mark, so who knows how many he could’ve got.
We could’ve certainly been talking about double figures.
Since arriving in England, the 26-year-old has always been a player capable of something special.
His pace was clear to see from his earliest games, and fans had quickly realised Wigan had signed an exciting talent.
He finished the 2019 season having given a snippet of what he could do, and went into 2020 looking for more.
Of course, the pandemic caused mass disruption to Super League, and the world, during that time, but French was able to settle more into the role of fullback.
Unfortunately, the next 18 months proved to be difficult both on and off the field.
He returned home to Australia in 2021 after suffering a season-ending injury, but also had to deal with personal tragedy following the death of his mother.
Rugby league really came together to support him during this period, with the Warriors giving him the time he needed.
That clearly meant a lot to him, as on his return to England, he said he wanted to repay the club.
He’s certainly kept his word, finding his form again, and becoming a key component to the team.
After a bit of rustiness, it’s been impressive how quickly he’s been able to get back up to speed and return to his best.
Wigan fans have made their feelings crystal clear, they want French to sign a new contract, and of course it’s easy to see why.
During his record-breaking evening at the DW Stadium, supporters continually chanted: “We want you to stay, we want you to stay, Bevan French, we want you to stay.”
It demonstrates just how much they think of the winger, who says there should be a decision made in the next few weeks.
Of course, he’s been linked with a host of different clubs both in England and in the NRL.
Hull FC and Leigh Centurions are the two clubs over here that have been reported to be potential destinations in the last few months.
No offence to either of those clubs, but it just doesn’t seem like a realistic prospect.
Even with big money thrown his way, would either truly tempt him away from Wigan.
The NRL seems the most likely alternative destination for him, and you wouldn’t be able to fault him for wanting to make that move.
For a start, going back home for anyone, no matter what job you do, is a tempting factor.
It’s sometimes easy to forget the sacrifices players make when they come over to Super League, especially by themselves.
Secondly, a player of his quality deserves the chance to play in the NRL and to test himself against the best.
For a lot of the teams in that competition, he could go and be a star for them.
For example, if the Dolphins were to get him, then they may very well build a team around him and give him a great platform to stand out.
Of course, let's not forget the benefits of him staying with Wigan.
He is already loved and adored in the North West of England and one of the best players in Super League.
The partnership he’s built with Jai Field this season has been sensational.
When the pair run at pace, it is frightening.
It’s impossible in some instances to stop them, and you’re left relying on them being too quick for their own good.
Throw a few other players into the mix as well, and that’s an exciting group for French to be working alongside, that will only continue to get the best out of him.
He could be part of something special if he remains at Robin Park, with Matty Peet really creating a competitive outfit.
If French could commit to one more year with the club, he wouldn’t regret, and could probably take his personal game to an even higher standard.
Of course, that argument could be made by any of his suitors, as he will thrive wherever he is next season.
It will be a nervous wait for everyone as he ponders over his next move.