Bevan French: My journey back to the grass

Ben Olawumi
Zak Hardaker and Bevan French Wigan Warriors SWpix

Zak Hardaker (left) with Bevan French (right) | Photo: Alex Whitehead/SWpix

10 months on the sidelines, some of it spent back in Australia, some spent dealing with personal tragedy, but all of it spent battling back. Bevan French is finally back in a Wigan Warriors shirt.

Initially missing the first three games of the 2021 season, full-back French played just a few minutes of the campaign before tearing his hamstring at Salford’s AJ Bell stadium.

A 12-week diagnosis turned into an injury which was worse than first expected, and 313 days later, the now 26-year-old stepped back onto the pitch for the first time against Hull FC last week, admitting it was a relief to do so.

“It was good as it felt like an eternity since I’ve been on the field,” French said. “Well it has been.

“It’s been a long process to get back and I think I was just happy to be out there and get that feeling again, especially at a home game in front of the Wigan crowd.

“It’s quite good to be back with a gritty win, that was the cherry on top.

“I’m still a fair way off where I need to be. I missed quite a chunk there in pre-season when the boys had it really tough. Now, I’ve got to take every opportunity I can to get back up to scratch; and get back to my best.”

Bevan French on his rehabilitation process

Bevan French Wigan Warriors

The livewire full-back signed a contract extension with the Warriors injured, a signal of his extent to get back fit on a Super League stage.

Also able to play as a winger, the Australian added: “It (the recovery) wasn’t just a straight process. Getting back into rehabilitation, the first five or six weeks I was pretty limited to not much at all.

“I had my surgery here and then flew back home to quarantine there for a couple of weeks. When I got out, I couldn’t do much. Then when it was time to get out and start doing a bit of rehab, we’d locked down for like six weeks.

“I got a bit behind with that as well due to things out of my control. That put me back a little bit so it wasn’t straightforward.

“Obviously I had family things going as well so there were days where I didn’t really feel like doing much. It was a tough process to get back to where I needed to be.

“When I got back here, early on in the year, I still had a bit to go on my rehab. That was just being hands on with the physios here; but they got me back to where I needed to be.

“Now it’s just up to me to put in the extra work to get to where I feel like I need to be.”

The ex-Paramatta Eels man may make another appearance for the Cherry and Whites this Sunday. Matt Peet’s side make the trip to Wakefield in the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup.

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