Wigan boss hails ‘fantastic talent’ Bevan French with leadership skills highlighted 

Josh McAllister
Bevan French, SWPix.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

Wigan head coach Matt Peet has praised Bevan French, admitting the Australian speedster drives standards within the playing group. 

French, 27, scored twice in the club’s 18-14 win over Leeds at Headingley Stadium to book their place in the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup. 

The ex-Parramatta Eels outside-back has shifted back to full-back following the long-term injury to Jai Field, and has impressed with nine tries in 12 appearances so far in 2023.

He sits second on the Man of Steel table with 15 points, just two behind England captain and Warrington half-back George Williams.

Wigan boss Peet praised his performance following the win over Rohan Smith’s Rhinos, including a try-saving tackle on Harry Newman in the dying stages of the sixth round tie. 

The tackle, which ultimately became the match-winning moment, followed a missed attempt in the first half on the Leeds centre that led to the side’s second try for an early 12-0 lead at home. 

Bevan French ‘drives standards’ says head coach

“He’s obviously a fantastic talent is Bevan,” Peet said. 

“He can produce moments of brilliance that you want to watch again and again. 

“But on top of that, the main reason we love him, is the way he leads our commitment and character.

“He was furious at himself for missing that tackle in the first half. But some of the balls that he cleared up, the loose kicks, and then the try-saver at the end on top of a couple of tries, he’s a pleasure to work with. And I think the lads feel like it’s a pleasure to play with him.

“He fits in so well here.”

“I think his leadership at the club has gone to another level.”

Peet also praised French’s leadership qualities, as well as insisting that the ex-Indigenous All Stars representative drives standards at the club.

French initially made the move to Wigan midway through the 2019 campaign from the NRL, and has gone on to score 59 tries in 58 Super League appearances, featuring in the 2020 Grand Final as well as the winning 2022 Challenge Cup side in Tottenham.

With speculation linking the star to a NRL return, French signed a new two-year contract at the DW Stadium at the end of 2022, with an option of a further two years.

“I think his leadership at the club has gone to another level,” Peet added.

“If you watch him on a day-to-day basis, it’s not just on game day, he sets the tone, speaks well in meetings and he’s a popular character as well.

“He drives standards as well and demands it of others. And that’s what we want, we want the players to be demanding of one another.

“I thought Bevan was outstanding over the weekend.”

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