Baitieri to leave Catalans Dragons

Catalans Dragons have revealed that their longstanding player Jason Baitieri will leave the club at the end of the 2021 season.

Off-contract this year, Baitieri will leave the Dragons after eleven seasons.

He arrived at the club in 2011 from the Sydney Roosters, quickly becoming a key player in the team, and was appointed vice-captain during the 2014 season.

Baitieri, 32, made 252 appearances for the Dragons, the third-highest total behind Rémi Casty and Greg Mounis and was among the 17 players who lifted the first trophy in the club’s history, when it won the Challenge Cup at Wembley in 2018.

I would like to thank Bernard Guasch and the Dragons’ board of directors for their support and trust since I have arrived in the south of France,” said Baitieri.

“I would also like to thank all my team-mates, past and present, that I have had the pleasure to play alongside over the years as well as the coaches, staff and everyone involved in the administration side at the club for some unforgettable memories.

“Thank you to my partner Julie and my two daughters Laly and Alba for the love and patience they have given me to get to this point. Without them I wouldn’t be here today.

“The season is not over, there is plenty of work still to be done to bring a trophy to Perpignan. We are working the best we can to put ourselves in the best position to do so.

“And I would like to finish by thanking our loyal fans who keep coming to Brutus and England to support us no matter what; you guys have made it very special to play at Brutus and make it feel like home.”

Bernard Guasch, the Dragons Chairman, has paid tribute to one of the club’s longest serving players since its launch in 2006.

“Jason is one of these players who has marked the club’s history,” he said.

“Only a few player have served the club as he did over the last ten years. He had a superb career and I congratulate him for all what he has achieved. I wish him the best for the future.

Steve McNamara, Catalans Dragons headcoach, also commented on Baitieri’s impending departure.

“Jason has given outstanding service to the the club over more than 250 games,” he said.

“He has contributed immensely to the progression of the club from its infancy to its current position and he will be missed by us all. We respect his decision and wish him and his family well with their future plans.”