Catalans Dragons take advantage of nearby luxury resort for pre-season camp

CATALANS DRAGONS are playing to their strengths as they prepare for their 19th season in Super League, taking every advantage of their unique location within the competition.

The Dragons packed their bags on Sunday for a week-long training camp at a luxury golf and spa resort in Spain but there was no need to head for the airport.

The Torremirona complex near Figuéres is just 45-minutes by road from Stade Gilbert Brutus, giving the club its shortest trip of the year.

“We are the club that travels most,” said coach Steve McNamara.

“We seem to spend most of the season at airports, on flights or transferring back and forwards. It’s ironic that we’re the only club that doesn’t have to travel far for a pre-season training camp.”

The Dragons are in their sixth week of preparations for the new campaign and McNamara concedes that the climate and conditions in and around their Perpignan base are ideal for training at this time of year.

He added, “We’ve said many times that we have unique challenges, being the only French club in Super League, it’s always been my opinion that Catalans face more obstacles than any other club.

“The sheer logistics of the operation are staggering and it’s an absolute credit to the club, staff and players, that they continue to improve and perfect our travelling experience, which can often change at the last minute.

“I have often spoken about that challenges we face but at the same time we must recognise the advantages we have too.

“The climate has been absolutely great for this time of the year and we’ve taken full advantage with a variety of activities designed to build bonds within the playing group.

“So far this year we have had team cycling trips in the foothills of the Pyrenées, held rowing competitions on boats in the Mediterranean, we do have many opportunities because of the weather and the location, it’s crucial that we maximise those situations.”

The Dragons are expected to announce a swift return to the club of former Director of Sport Neil McIlroy, who left to join to rugby union’s Top 14 club Montpellier at the end of last season.

McIlroy lasted a month in his new role until a new owner had a staff clear-out and the 55-year-old ex-Scotland union international is expected to be re-appointed at Stade Gilbert Brutus.

Catalans have announced a season-launch party at Perpignan’s Palais de Congrés following their pre-season fixture against a France Elite 1 Select side at Stade Brutus on February 3rd.