Bevan French’s emotional pledge after Rob Burrow loss and personal family tragedy

Aaron Bower
Bevan French, Matt Peet, Liam Farrell

Wigan Warriors stars Bevan French (left) & Liam Farrell (right) celebrate their 2024 Challenge Cup triumph with head coach Matt Peet (centre) at Wembley

Lance Todd Trophy winner Bevan French admits Wigan’s Challenge Cup success is doubly special given the significance of the passing of Rob Burrow last weekend.

French was the final’s standout player on Saturday afternoon as the Warriors continued their dominance of British rugby league, with an 18-8 win at Wembley Stadium against Warrington Wolves.

The Australian was voted man of the match in comprehensive fashion, polling almost 75 per cent of the votes from the assembled media in attendance. But the week and the result took on extra significance for French given Burrow’s heroic battle against Motor Neurone Disease: the same illness his own mother suffered from before her death in 2022.

French was given extended leave from the Warriors to care for his mother back in Australia before she passed away, and the half-back admitted that given the news of Burrow’s passing in recent days, it makes success all the more poignant and significant on a personal level.

He said: “A couple of years ago I lost my mum to the same thing. With Rob obviously being such a legend, it has connected to me a bit emotionally. It’s made this week sweet, especially the fact my mum passed away from it.

“The first trophy I won when I came back to England after she passed away was the Challenge Cup, so it makes it even more special, yes.”

French also admitted that the enormity of Wigan’s success would take some time to sink in.

“Not too many teams have gone Grand Final, League Leaders, World Club and then this,” he said. “It was a main focus for us and a bit of motivation.

“It’s going to take a bit to sink in – all the trophies, so sit back and enjoy it for a few days.”


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