Why Jackson Hastings holds key to which position Bevan French will play for Wigan Warriors

Bevan French models the new away kit
Bevan French models the new away kit

Adrian Lam will wait until the new year before deciding which position Bevan French will start the new campaign.

The Warriors coach is unsure which role will benefit the team the most.

Australian utility French played wing or at stand-off – from the bench – after joining from Parramatta late last season. But many think his skills, speed and elusiveness are best suited to the full-back spot.

Lam is confidently predicting he will light up the competition.

But he plans to wait until marquee recruit Jackson Hastings starts training after Christmas to see how his playmakers combine.

Hastings and fellow Great Britain international Zak Hardaker have been given time off because of their tour commitments and with the latter able to play centre – instead of No.1 – Lam says it makes sense to wait before making a call, especially as this stage of the pre-season is focused on individual skills and fitness.

He said: “Bevan could play in the halves, wing or full-back – there’s no guarantee. We need to get a feel with how we fit in when Hastings comes in, and what best fits the team and we’ll get a feel over the pre-season when they’re all on board.”

French, 23, was already a fans’ favourite at Wigan before a scorching hat-trick against Catalans.

“He scored a hat-trick already and I think you’ll see three or four of those next year,” said Lam.

“He came in and understood his role, he knew the players had done a good job all year in getting us to where we were at, and he added to that.

“But next year he’ll be there for pre-season and we’ll look at where’s best for him and the team.”

Lam has the option of using Thomas Leuluai or Jake Shorrocks in the halves as well - Jarrod Sammut, another halfback in training at the club, is expected to depart before the new season begins with latest rumours linking him with Leigh.

At centre, Oliver Gildart will miss the first few weeks of the season because of a shoulder injury suffered on Test duty.

And while Hardaker can play centre - where he lined-up on GB duty - his defensive attributes in the No.1 role made him Wigan’s player of the year in 2019.

Lam also has Salford recruit Jake Bibby and Chris Hankinson as centre options.