SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 29: Bevan French of the Eels celebrates one of his tries during the round 25 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Pirtek Stadium on August 29, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

The Newcastle Knights are reported to be amassing a bid to bring former Parramatta Eels flyer Bevan French back to the NRL.

French left Australia in 2019 after scoring 35 tries in just 47 appearances for the Eels – a fantastic strike rate that has only grown during his time at Super League giants Wigan, where he’s crossed the line 48 times in just 51 games.

Though he’s never managed to claim a league title, he was instrumental in Wigan’s charge to the 2022 Challenge Cup, beating Huddersfield 16-14 in the final and has also featured in Man of Steel discussions since his arrival. He also smashed the Super League record with seven tries during a 60-0 thrashing of Hull FC in July.

But his fruitful time in England looks set to end, with French coming off-contract at season’s end and reportedly angling for a return to Australia and the NRL.

Newcastle are believed to be leading the charge, thanks in part to a number of outside backs leading the club. Youngster Tex Hoy is headed to Hull FC in the Super League, while rangy winger Edrick Lee will be joining the NRL’s newest franchise in Redcliffe.

French had reportedly wanted to come back from England a year earlier, but was unable to make a deal with any interested clubs. Since his return to Wigan he’s scored 24 tries in 18 games, streaking ahead of former Knight Ken Sio (21) in the race to be the Super League’s top tryscorer.

Wigan are currently second on the ESL ladder, two points behind leaders St Helens.