Parramatta young gun Bevan French has all the tools to be the club’s long-term fullback, according to current custodian Michael Gordon.
The Eels have yet to settle on a fullback since the departure of club icon Jarryd Hayne in 2014, with Gordon one of five players to wear the No.1 in the past 18 months.
However the Sydney Roosters-bound Gordon believes 20-year-old French is capable of having a long future as the Eels’ fullback following a breakout game in the side’s close loss to Cronulla on Saturday.
The Tingha product was easily the Eels’ best against the Sharks, notching his first career hat-trick to elevate his tryscoring tally to an impressive seven tries in four games.
“Definitely, he played fullback a lot and he’s got all the skills and the attributes,” Gordon said.
A former NSW State of Origin representative, Gordon said he didn’t even feel the need to give French any tips on what it would be like to handle one of the most critical spots in the modern game.
“I’m probably trying to get tips off him,” Gordon said.
“He’s got all the skill and, give me a bit of that speed, I’d be happy. I’m always happy to talk to him but I think he has a pretty good head on his shoulders and he doesn’t need much advice from me.”
Gordon said he wasn’t surprised by French’s stunning ascension into the NRL.
“Not at all. I trained the full pre-season with him and he showed good signs there,” he said.
“Obviously at the (Auckland) Nines as well, and when you’ve got good ball players like (Corey Norman) inside him and class players around him, it’s always going to give him an opportunity.
“He’s shown that you just give him a bit of space and he’ll take it.”
The Eels next take on the Sydney Roosters at Pirtek Stadium on Friday, with a loss to either team officially ruling them out of an unlikely push for a finals berth in 2016.