BEN GARCIA believes the mixture of coach Steve McNamara’s experience and his injection of French talent can help push Catalans closer to a first Super League title.
With a League Leaders’ Shield and two Grand Final appearances in the last three years, the team from Perpignan, who have played in the top-flight since 2006, have become a Super League powerhouse and bona-fide contender.
France international loose-forward Garcia played in both Old Trafford appearances – the 12-10 defeat by St Helens in 2021 (after Catalans had topped the table) and 10-2 loss to Wigan last year.
The 30-year-old from the Cote d’Azur is eager to help the Dragons breathe even more fire under ex-England chief McNamara, who he says has really built the club up since arriving from the NRL in mid-2017.
“Steve has pushed us forward and to another level. He has made us a consistent top-four team who can compete with the best in Super League,” said Garcia.
“We talk a lot about consistency, which is hard for any club to get, and the culture and standards which we need to achieve it, and we know we have to maintain both those areas.
“I think that for such a young club, two Grand Finals in three years is something to be really proud of and that should encourage us, but we also know we have to keep progressing.”
Garcia says he has been encouraged by the emergence of such as fullback Arthur Mourgue, 24, halfback Cesar Rougé, 21, threequarter Arthur Romano, 26, and Paul Séguier, 26.
“Steve and the club have put a lot of resources into developing players like this, and it’s great for the future of Catalans Dragons and the France team as well,” he added.