The Newcastle Knights’ hopes of securing the services of Super League top try-scorer Bevan French have been shot down after the Wigan Warriors confirmed that the former Eels flyer had signed a new deal to keep him in England until at least 2024.

French’s return to Australia seemed almost a certainty just a few weeks ago, with NewsCorp reporting he was expected to sign a two-year deal with Adam O’Brien’s struggling side.

The 26-year-old has been in remarkable form this Super League season, scoring 31 tries in just 23 appearances, taking his total haul for the club to 55 tries in 56 games.

There are no questions about that strike rate in the NRL either, with 35 tries in 47 appearances during his debut stint with the Parramatta Eels.

French was effusive in his praise of the club and the region he’s called home since he moved to the UK back in 2019.

“It’s been a long process, but I’ve got an opportunity to stick around and hopefully win some more silverware along the way,” French said, per BBC.

“The community in Wigan are passionate about their rugby league and they go the extra mile to make everyone feel welcome.

“They’ve been very supportive of me and I can’t thank them enough. It’s a joy to play for a crowd like that.”

According to the club, the deal also contains an abundance of player options over the next two years.