Catalans Dragons seek new signing as forward heads for exit

CATALANS DRAGONS continue to be linked with a series of NRL players as General Manager Alex Chan extends his recruitment drive down under.

Sydney Roosters’ Kiwi international prop Jared Waerea Hargreaves is said to be the latest target for Les Dracs, although he is 18,000 miles away as part of New Zealand’s World Cup squad in the UK.

The 33-year-old 6’4” 18-stone enforcer would be a straight replacement for Aussie prop Dylan Napa, who has been released by Catalans with one year remaining on his existing contract.

The Dragons have also given an early release to another Australian, scrum-half Josh Drinkwater, leaving some big holes in the squad at Stade Gilbert Brutus for next season.

Club President Bernard Guasch has made no secret of his desire to cut the playing group from last year’s 34 first-teamers to around 27 players.

The release of twelve squad members has triggered a serious recruitment drive and the Dragons’ former frontrower Chan is on a seek and find mission to source two new centres, a prop and halfback before their opening round trip to Wakefield Trinity in the new Super League season.

The game will be a swift return to Belle Vue for Dragons’ recruit Tom Johnstone, who has just landed in Perpignan for pre-season training after ten years at Trinity.

Johnstone and Hull second-rower Manu Ma’u will join the initial group with the internationals filtering back once their tournament duties are completed.

The third new recruit confirmed for 2023 is Tonga captain and former Sydney Roosters’ goal-kicking prop Sio Siua Taukeiaho, but Catalans are hoping to add three-to-four more additions to complete a squad of 25-27 players.