BEVAN French is keeping his head while others are losing theirs over where he will be next season – which makes him more dangerous.
Wigan’s Australian ace has a big decision to make. Does he return home to the NRL, where he feels he has unfinished business and has been linked with Newcastle Knights, or does he stay at the club that has grown him as a player and a person?
Tonight could be his final home appearance as he looks to help the Warriors to the Grand Final over Leeds.
If the winger produces the goods – like he did 31 times in the regular Super League season – you can be sure he is not fretting, while some might be.
French said: “I seem to play better when I’ve got peace of mind.
“I know it’s been a long process with all the contract negotiations but I’ve been pretty laid back about it all. I find the more laid back I am, the better I perform.
“If it is my last home game, hopefully it’s a good end to the year but I really don’t know if it is or if it isn’t. I really don’t think about it.
“I do say I don’t want to keep it going on too long but I’ve had pretty honest conversations with coach Matt Peet about it and I’ve said to him, ‘I can’t really tell you when the time will be.’
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“I came here with ambitions to get back into the NRL, I feel like I’ve unfinished business there and I’m 27 next year – that’s getting on as a player.
“But it’s a lot to take in, a big decision and that’s why I’m not rushing into it.”
French has been through plenty at Wigan. After heading there midway through 2019, they stuck by him while he stayed in Australia during his late mother’s final days.
That growth off the field, coupled with development on it, will stick with him, wherever he is in 2023.
He added: “I definitely feel a better player having been here. I’ve been over a few years now and I definitely had improving as an aim.
“Wigan was the club where I could do that after speaking to players who’ve been here in the past. I definitely have as a player.
“Not only that, I’d like to think I’ve that bit of maturity outside of rugby league, that’s something they work on a lot at Wigan – you’ve got to be a good person to be in that squad.
“I’ve been working on that and I’ll definitely take that with me, no matter where I end up.”
French, 26, is one of Wigan’s strike weapons after topping the try scoring charts during the regular season – not bad for someone playing out of position.
Normally, he is a full back but Jai Field’s sensational season left him on the edge – changing his mindset and making him more tired as he is constantly moving.
But he is not overly fussed about his switch, telling SunSport: “I’d say full-back’s my preferred position but when you’ve someone like Jai, who’ s been killing it, you’ve got to roll with these things.
“It all seems to have worked out for the better.
“All I wanted to do was get back on the field – just doing that was an aim for me, I wasn’t really fussed where – as long as it wasn’t in the forwards.
“I might’ve been more experienced but Jai’s played in that position all his life and the times he’s stood out haven’t really been about the position or role.
“That’s down to his individual brilliance. I can’t take much credit at all really, as much I’d love to!”
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