Second row / lock
- State of Origin debut - Game I, 1985 at Lang Park
Ian French made his first grade debut for Wynnum Manly as an 18-year-old in 1979, and was always destined for stardom. A dynamic running lock and prolific try scorer, French won grand finals with Wynnum Manly in 1984 and 1986, the first one with his younger brother, Brett in the centres.
Brett had been part of Wynnum Manly’s history making premiership winning side in 1982, when Ian took a year off to travel overseas.
They both played State of Origin for Queensland, and were named in the same side for the first game of the 1985 series, with neither player getting on the field.
Ian played nine Origin matches between 1985 and 1987, scoring a try on debut, and then crossing again in his second game.
He won the Rothmans Gold Medal as Brisbane's Best and Fairest player in 1985, after almost giving the game away earlier in the year.
Winning the Rothmans Gold Medal made me really want to achieve something in rugby league.Ian French FOG #45
French spent part of the 1985-1986 off-season with Castleford in England, and flew back to England in May, 1986 to play in the Wembley Challenge Cup final, with Castleford defeating Hull Kingston Rovers 15-14.
French joined his brother, Brett at North Sydney in 1987 and spent four seasons with the Bears, before finishing his career at Doncaster in England, in the 1990-1991 season.