Wigan Warriors- Talking Rugby: Keeping Bevan French is the best bit of business the club could’ve done

Wigan Warriors fans have finally received the news they’ve been craving throughout the last few months.

It has been confirmed that Bevan French will remain with the club for at least another two seasons.

This announcement is so big, it feels like a brand new signing.

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If anything, keeping hold of French is the best bit of business Wigan could’ve done.

Bevan French is sticking around at WiganBevan French is sticking around at Wigan
Bevan French is sticking around at Wigan

He’s proven himself to be one of the most dangerous and clinical attacking players in Super League.

His numbers have been unbelievable since arriving in 2019, and you’d expect them to only get better.

After a late start to the most recent campaign, he soon got up to speed, finishing top scorer in Super League with 31 tries.

As each week passed, he went from strength to strength.

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Of course, his standout game came against Hull FC, where he broke the Super League record for the most tries scored by a player in one game, as he went over for seven.

His performances also saw him named in the Dream Team for a second time, with the first being in 2020.

As well as his most recent season demonstrating his pure talent, it also highlights his hard work and dedication.

He’s also been happy to move to the wing, after previously playing at fullback, in order to accommodate Jai Field, who has also enjoyed a sensational year.

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Together the pair have become a devastating attacking force.

Throw Liam Marshall into the mix as well, and Wigan fans should enjoy scintillating rugby for a long time to come.

It would’ve been disappointing for such a great trio to have so little time together, so it’s going to be fantastic to see what they can do with even more game time alongside each other.

French’s new contract was announced at the recent Super League awards night, where he also received his award for finishing the season as the competition’s top scorer.

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Brodie Croft was also named Man of Steel at the ceremony at Headingley Stadium.

While the Salford Red Devils man has enjoyed a superb year, and is fully deserving of the prize; Field is unfortunate to miss out.

The Wigan fullback has been consistently impressive in both attack and defence.

He can create something out of nothing, while also remaining composed when stopping the opposition.

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The way he has been to bounce back from his injury-hit first season in England is truly remarkable.

He also remained confident in his own ability, and everyone else has since come to share his belief.

Meanwhile, Matty Peet was recognised at the awards event, as he was named Coach of the Year.

Despite Wigan not reaching the Grand Final, it’s hard to disagree with this decision.

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He’s made the Warriors a real force once again, creating a sense of unity around the club and playing the kind of rugby that the fans want to watch.

The work he has done in the community is fantastic, with the squad really connecting with the town again.

All the players have bought into what Peet wants, and on the whole it’s been a successful year.

The Challenge Cup final at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was a special day, and Marshall’s last minute winning try will live long in the memory.

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Sean O’Loughlin and Lee Briers must also take credit for the good work this year, as they’ve been part of a fantastic coaching team that has supported Peet.

It was a shame that the season ended with a play-off semi-final defeat to Leeds, but there’s no doubt they will come back stronger from it.

The Rhinos certainly frustrated the Warriors with a fantastic defensive display. .

Despite dominating the first half and pushing their opponents hard, they only went into the break with a 4-2 lead.

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After the restart, the direction of the game changed, with two tries and a red card coming in the space of 10 minutes.

As well as taking the lead, the Rhinos also continued to soak up any pressure, while Wigan never really looked sharp enough on the night.

Nonetheless, the mood still feels completely different to 12 month ago, and despite being eliminated from the play-offs again by Leeds, things are in a good place.

The red card in the game was shown to John Bateman, for a late hit on Aidan Sezer.

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Immediately after, there were fears that his Rugby League World Cup might be under threat.

Fortunately the RFL have decided rules are meant to be bent, despite being the ones who created them.

Due to his selection in the England Knights squad, and a warm-up game against Fiji, Bateman will only miss the opening group game as part of his three-match ban.

It does feel strange that the authorities have cheated their own system, but it’s certainly a boost for England to have the 28-year-old.

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It does beg the question, should domestic and international bans overlap, and arguably the answer should be no.

A few eyebrows have also been raised after St Helens successfully appealed Morgan Knowles’ suspension in their second attempt, meaning he will be available for the Grand Final.

It’s safe to say it’s been a bizarre old week of stories.

Finally it was nice to see Thomas Leuluai get a good send off in his final game for Wigan last week.

The fans gave him a great reception, as did both sets of players at the end of the match, with the teams forming a guard of honour for the 37-year-old as he left the DW Stadium field for the final time.