Parramatta called out over Bevan French failure after World Club Challenge display

The former Eels player was arguably the star of the show in the World Club Challenge.

Bevan French (pictured right) has produced one of his best matches for Wigan against the the Panthers in the World Club Challenge. (Getty Images)
Bevan French (pictured right) has produced one of his best matches for Wigan against the the Panthers in the World Club Challenge. (Getty Images)

Bevan French has produced one of his best matches for Wigan having left NRL onlookers in awe having helped guide his team to a 16-12 win over the Panthers. Nathan Cleary wasn't able to guide his team to a victory over Wigan with the home side winning after a number of controversial moments rocked the Panthers.

Regardless of the drama, one player to put his hand up and shine was French. The Parramatta Eels let him leave in 2018 and the versatile back has gone from strength-to-strength since joining Wigan. French is the reigning Super League's player of the year and it showed against the Panthers with the dynamic star popping up all over the field.

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Lining up at five-eighth against the Panthers, French recorded a line break assist and try assist and ran for 98 metres. His cut-out pass for the first try was sensational. French can play centre, fullback and in the halves and has proven himself a star at Wigan.

And after the Eels froze him out of first grade, Phil Rothfield questioned whether a team could come knocking on the door of the 28-year-old when his contract runs out at Wigan at the end of the year. “A lot of people have been quite critical of the Parramatta Eels recruitment over a very, very long period of time and I sat back watching this fella and I’ve seen him before in Super League for a couple of years ... He is such in NRL player, this guy,” Rothfield said on the Big Sports Breakfast.

“... I still don’t understand why Parramatta let him go all those years ago. He’s a very good footballer, he can play fullback, he can play halves, centres, wing and I think he’s almost an X-factor player now. He’s got a great speed, very clever footy brain. He can play.”

Bevan French is tackled.
Bevan French (pictured) was everywhere for Wigan in theWorld Club Challenge. (Photo by Jess Hornby/PA Images via Getty Images) (Jess Hornby - PA Images via Getty Images)

He wasn't the only one that stood out. Former NRL player Jai Field was another player who shone after he made a try-saving tackle in the second halt for Wigan. And both made enough of an impression that a number of NRL clubs could come knocking when their contracts are up.

“The money over there is nothing like it is in the NRL for these guys so they are quite affordable (for NRL clubs),” Rothfield added. Many agreed the duo could return to the NRL and show their quality if given another opportunity. Bevan only recently admitted he would like another chance to prove his quality in the NRL in the future.

Nathan Cleary's classy act after defeat

One fan posted a photo of Cleary on social media and wrote: "A word on Nathan Cleary. After the game he was the only Penrith player I saw who made the effort to go and thank the fans and he took the time to individually sign autographs and take selfies with them. I thought that was genuinely class of him to do. Shows what a top bloke he is."

Another added: "Game ended half an hour ago, but Nathan Cleary is still here posing for selfies and signing autographs. What a player and what a bloke. Credit to Penrith Panthers and the NRL."

A third commented: "Just shows what sort of person he is. We watched him going round all the fans. He looked frozen but still took the time. Amazing player but lovely guy as well."

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