Catalans Dragons’ Steve McNamara blasts Huddersfield Giants for ‘disrespect’ of French


Catalans Dragons coach Steve McNamara has accused Huddersfield Giants of having a “disgraceful and disrespectful” attitude towards French clubs in Super League.

McNamara exploded after his side’s tense last-minute 13-12 field-goal winner against the Giants in Perpignan on Saturday night.

In the post-match press conference, the Dragons’ chief said: “It was a real gritty performance against a team that I don’t think gives us any respect at all.”

McNamara said he had become aware of comments made by Giants’ executives in a meeting with new Super League partners IMG, who are canvassing opinion from all clubs on all topics in a bid to help formulate a future strategy for the sport.

McNamara said: “There is talk this week of Huddersfield saying the French teams give nothing to the Super League in their talks with IMG.

“There is talk of them saying they don’t think the French teams should be in the competition and it’s an absolute disgrace.

“What Catalans have brought to this competition in 16 seasons is on a par with what some of those other clubs have brought in in over a hundred years.

“It’s a terrible attitude towards our game and it is just one aspect of disrespect that I feel their club has shown to our club a number of times.

“I’m referring to the whole club and their attitudes towards expansion or towards French teams in the competition and what we bring and don’t bring.

“You’ve got to live it, breathe it and see it in terms of what this brings – it’s quite clear what Catalans Dragons brings to the competition.

“It’s one of the best places to come to and to play against.

“We’re not playing our best but we’re scrapping and fighting and finding a way. The disrespect that is shown to us by Huddersfield in particular right now is not what the game needs and what the growth of this game needs.

“People talk about the game being together, about everyone being together. I remember through Covid saying we were all together, but it’s b*******.

“It’s every man for himself at this stage and I hope IMG get hold of this and really look at it from a broad perspective, at what is right for this game so we aren’t an M62 corridor game in a hundred years’ time or even worse, that there isn’t a game at all. We should be an expansive game that becomes more and more appealing to everybody around the world.

“I hope that they come up with the right answers and do not listen to small-minded people who have got their own self-interest at heart.”

Huddersfield Managing Director Richard Thewlis issued a statement following McNamara’s comments.

“I have no idea how the Catalan coach would know what I have said to IMG, given I only met them for the first time last week in a group Super League meeting.

“How their Catalans representative interpreted the feelings of the confidential meeting is his prerogative.

“But I would suggest it is better these discussions remain private and we allow all to give their views honestly and we allow IMG to formulate their recommendations, having taken soundings from all stakeholders, which I am sure they will.”

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