Bevan French of the Eels is tackled by Lewis Brown of the Sea Eagles.
Bevan French of the Eels is tackled by Lewis Brown of the Sea Eagles. DAN HIMBRECHTS

Eels dynamo in doubt for Knights clash

PARRAMATTA may have to continue its push for a top-four berth without fill-in fullback Bevan French.

The No.1 is set to be ruled out of Friday's clash with the Newcastle Knights due to a hamstring injury.

French reclaimed the fullback position after Clint Gutherson was ruled out for the rest of the year with a knee injury.

The 21-year-old has become integral to the Eels' premiership chances, scoring a try in each of his past six games, for a total of 26 in 28.

French spent the second half of last week's win over Canterbury on the bench due to a hamstring injury.

"He'll train today but it's unlikely (he will play on Friday), we don't want to take a risk with him," Eels coach Brad Arthur said.

Will Smith and Josh Hoffman are on an extended bench and will come into the side if French is ruled out.

With third-placed Brisbane and fourth-placed Cronulla meeting in Brisbane on Friday, the fifth-placed Eels will leapfrog the loser if they can end the Knights' winning run.

"We've put ourselves in the position where if we're good enough and we play well, we can finish in the top four," Arthur said.

"That's our decision to make and what our mentality is. If we win this week we go into the top four and it's up to us to stay there."

Mitchell Moses will be a key for the Eels, as they look to make it six wins on the trot for the first time since 2009, when they last made finals.

In 10 games since crossing from the Tigers, Moses has enjoyed eight wins, four linebreaks, nine try assists, 10 linebreak assists and 12 forced dropouts.

News Corp Australia


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