Parramatta Eels fans are still reflecting on what might have been, with former star Jarryd Hayne deciding to restart his NRL career with the Gold Coast Titans and not the club where he made his name on the Rugby League world.
But that decision has opened the door for a new name to make their mark in Eels territory, with Bevan French ready to step into the spotlight.
The Tingha product has been a revelation this season and he once again displayed his potential last Monday, with a hat-trick against South Sydney.
Whilst Parramatta Stadium will forever be marked with memories of Hayne, French has ensured his name is forever stamped on the iconic venue, with the flyers three try performance coming in the final match before the ground is bulldozed for redevelopment.
The clash with South Sydney not only farewelled the Eels home, but also Monday Night Football, which bids goodbye after ten years of Rugby League action.
But on the iconic evening, the only thing on everyone’s mind was Bevan French.
Parramatta Eels coach Brad Arthur has publicly endorsed French as the club’s fullback for next season and former Eel Nathan Peats told NITV’s League Nation Live, Eels fans should be excited about the potential of their new star.
“He got his opportunity this year, obviously with the injuries and everything else that have happened he’s got his start and he’s really showing how good he can be,” said Peats.
Despite sitting atop the NRL Premiership just two months ago, the Eels saw their season evaporate after being found guilty of Salary Cap rorting.
It saw the club stripped of points, hit with severe financial penalties, their captain Kieran Foran has departed and legend Hayne chose not to return.
But Rugby League legend Justin Hodges sees the foundation of future success in the Eels, with French a large part of brighter days to come.
“They’re a great side. For a team to go through what they have all season and to still turn up each weeks and try and get the job done, it’s been great for them and great for the supporters who have turned up every week to support them,” said Hodges.
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