Wigan Warriors’ Man of Steel Bevan French gives his view on Super League video referees

DEFENDING Man of Steel Bevan French is fully behind the use of video referees at every game this season because he feels it will give a fairer outcome over the full campaign.

French had probably his best season for Wigan last year since his move in 2019, and he was awarded the Steve Prescott Man of Steel award before helping his team to a 10-2 Grand Final win over Catalans.

This Super League season, every single game will be shown live, meaning that video referees will be in place at every match.

French believes that will end the arguments about teams who are not on TV frequently being on the end of contentious calls.

“They have spoken now about every game having a video referee,” said French.

“The difference between winning and losing a game when we don’t have one is massive. 

“It is tough for a referee to be on top of everything in a game. It sounds like I am whingeing, and I hope it doesn’t come across that way. Hopefully, you won’t have players like me talking about decisions any more. 

“It is only going to benefit the game. It’s not just the difference between winning and losing, but for a winger to score a try near the touchline, without the video ref you sometimes cannot tell whether he has scored or not. That changes the momentum of the game. 

“But now we will have a fairer outcome and no one can argue about the result. We know it is tough for a referee to cover everything over the 80 minutes, so this takes a bit of pressure off them as well.”

French played the second half of last season in an unfamiliar stand-off role after spells at fullback and on the wing, and the 28-year-old admits he still doesn’t know what his best position is. 

“I don’t think I know. I am always getting chopped and changed around,” he said. 

“I guess every position has its pros and cons. In the stand-off role now, I think I am more involved in the game and the middle, and I get the ball in my hands a lot.

“When I am at fullback, you see it from a different angle so you can read the game a bit better, but on the wing, you get to score a lot of tries. I really don’t know which my favourite is.”