Bevan French repays Wigan by staying after they supported him during a family tragedy

BEVAN French knows he is where he is today because of a very special woman, his late mother.

Not only because she’s a superb talent who has made the Super League shine, but because she’s back at Wigan after telling him to return ahead of family tragedy, despite offers to stay in Australia .

Bevan French revealed he had turned down NRL's interest in staying at Wigan


Bevan French revealed he had turned down NRL’s interest in staying in WiganPhoto credit: SWPIX.COM

French returned in Thursday’s 19-18 win over Hull after missing almost 11 months with a serious hamstring injury and being allowed to stay Down Under to be with Tiffany Blair when she eventually lost her battle with the disease.

And he revealed her words that made him return to the club that supported him as that fight lasted longer than doctors expected.

It also meant some sadness as he prepared to get back on the pitch as he said: “I’ve looked back on what I’ve been through and thought a lot about my family, my mum and my journey.

“Things that happened for me to come here and how lucky I am to be here. I hadn’t thought that deeply about it before.

“What mom made was the main part. She raised my three brothers and I alone and worked tirelessly for us. She also played a part in my return to Wigan.

“I was home for six months and mum made me realize that they really are there for me and support me, I have to reciprocate. It was still hard, but this made it easier.

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“For me to be able to go home for this extended period I can’t thank Wigan enough and I wanted to come back and do the right thing, although there have been some offers to stay in Australia.

“My manager called and said, ‘Clubs have noticed that you haven’t come back and there are positions here,’ but my mum got straight to the point and said, ‘You have to pay them back.’ I’m glad I did that.”

French, who suffered a season-ending hamstring injury in May, was initially told his mother wouldn’t make it past August, but she continued to fight through January, which meant one last birthday and Christmas with her family.

Even now, Wigan’s support continues. Boss Matt Peet is making sure the 26-year-old, who joked he’d had too much sun in Tingha, New South Wales before returning when the thermometer hovered around freezing, is healthy both mentally and physically.

The teammates also made their contribution. He was living with back rower Willie Isa until last Thursday – that and the reaction from fans made him even more eye-opening as he strives to get back to his best.

French is repaying the loyalty Wigan showed him by supporting his family in Australia


French is repaying the loyalty Wigan showed him by supporting his family in Australia

French added: “I had some emotions before getting back on the pitch. It felt like an eternity. I’m just glad it’s over and I got through it!

“To be honest I didn’t know much about Wigan. I knew the rugby league club but the way it connects to the community is very different.

“I cannot thank them enough, they have made the transition much easier than it should have been with their continued support.

“I would have had trouble coming back and being alone, but Willie took me in. He’s always there, has been for the last few years and is always willing to help.

“They didn’t push me back and make sure I was ready. Now I want to go back to who I was and I don’t want to say in months, I want to do it as soon as possible.

French made his comeback in Thursday's 19-18 win over Hull FC


French made his comeback in Thursday’s 19-18 win over Hull FC Bevan French repays Wigan by staying after they supported him during a family tragedy


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