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Sam Tomkins claims current Super League star could become “best ever”

Sam Tomkins working for Sky Sports as a Pundit

When it comes to Super League quality there are few better placed to speak on the matter than Sam Tomkins, who is one of just a handful of two-time Man of Steel winners, and he’s now suggested current Man of Steel Bevan French could go down as Super League’s “best-ever” player.

Perhaps there is a hint of Wigan Warriors bias creeping in there but Sam Tomkins has revealed on Sky Sports that he thinks the Australian has what it takes to go down as the greatest to ever grace Super League.

Speculation as to whether French can become the ‘GOAT’ has been fuelled by confirmation that the 28-year-old has put pen to paper and signed a contract extension with Wigan which keeps him at the club until the end of the 2028 season.

Even those down under were calling for French to return after his Man of the Match performance in the World Club Challenge with Andrew Johns arguing that “he would be a sensation”.

French is the latest in a line of stars to sign lengthy extensions with the club after Abbas Miski, Jai Field, Jake Wardle, and Harry Smith, as well as head coach Matt Peet and assistants Sean O’Loughlin and Thomas Leuluai.

Therefore, French won’t face any issues in terms of not having the talent around him on his potential pursuit to become Super League’s greatest, something that Sam Tomkins asserted he could become when asked by Brian Carney.

Carney posited if French were to continue on his current trajectory, could he go down as one of the competition’s best-ever, prompting a swift response from Tomkins: “Yeah I think so.”

Continuing, he said: “I think he’s outstanding and the reason Wigan have wasted no time in getting his signature is because they see the sort of things he comes up with every week on the big stages.”

Sam Tomkins reveals what makes Bevan French so special

BBC Challenge Cup coverage - Super League Wigan Warriors rugby league

Credit: Imago Images

Ex-England captain Sam Tomkins was speaking ahead of the game between Leigh Leopards and Wigan Warriors and French went on to show his credentials within that match.

Wigan cruised to a 40-12 victory with French as one of eight different try-scorers for Matt Peet’s side, whilst also registering an assist, taking his tally to five tries and two assists for the season in just five games.

Tomkins elaborated on his argument about French becoming one of the Super League greats by recalling the recent feats of brilliance that the Australian has displayed on the field.

He recalled: “The pass that he put in to the right-hand side, remember, against Penrith in the World Cup Challenge. World class. The try that he scored against St Helens. World class.

“Not many players anywhere in the world with the rugby ball in their hands can do some of the things that Bevan French does. I think that’s why Wigan haven’t let it go any further than ‘you’re staying with us for the next four years’.”

“Matt Peet has recognised that, he said to Jenna that French has got him out of some tight places not because of Wigan’s attacking success but because of the individual brilliance of Bevan French.”

How do you stop Bevan French?

Bevan French, Sam Tomkins

Credit: Imago Images

How do you stop Bevan French? That is likely the question that every Super League coach asks themselves ahead of facing Wigan and even if they were to find the answer, there’s still the matter of stopping Harry Smith, Jai Field and Adam Keighran as chief playmakers too.

However, very few do find the answer as to how to stop Bevan French with the mercurial half even being able to perform on the biggest stage, as seen in the Good Friday Derby when he created a try out of nothing on the right-hand side.

Sam Tomkins pointed to that as further evidence of French’s greatness: “I think what’s special about people like Bevan is you can’t really preview him as a defensive side so teams might look at the way that Wigan play with structures do you think Saints could have previewed the try he scored last week? Absolutely not,

“He’s got that bit of X-factor, a lot of X-factor, sorry, he’s got that flair and for a coach to be able to put a really strong side knowing you’ve got a sprinkle of that stardust in there as well,  it must be comfortable for Matt Peet.”

French will next set his sights on the Challenge Cup, a trophy he helped Wigan lift in 2022 and Wigan continue their march to Wembley with a clash against Castleford Tigers at the weekend.

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