Dragons forced to postpone return to training

Catalans Dragons resumed training at Stade Brutus last week, but were forced to postpone their initial sessions because of necessary testing procedures for players and staff.

“It wasn’t a major problem,” said Catalans coach Steve McNamara.

“We just had to change things around, and it was good to see all the boys training together for the first time in months.

“It’s very different to normal training, in that we have to split the squad into groups and abide by all the stipulations laid down in the government guidelines. But it was very positive and it was clear to see that the players were happy to be back.”

Meanwhile Dragons forward Mickael Simon has announced his decision to leave the club at the end of the season to join his hometown team Carcassonne in the French Elite One League.

The 33-year-old former Wakefield Trinity prop said: “I’ve had eleven fantastic Super League seasons with many ups and downs over the years. I have been delighted to play for the Dragons for all this time and I want to finish my career here as well as possible and see how far this team can go.”

Coach McNamara added: “Mika decided it was the right opportunity and the right time for him and we really respect that.

“He’s been great for us at the Dragons; he was part of the team that won the first trophy for the club and his performance for us in the semi-final of the Challenge Cup against St Helens really sticks in my mind. He showed what a good, powerful player he was and he’s not finished yet. He’ll play a big part for us during the rest of this season and I’m sure he’ll want to go out on the back of a successful campaign.

“It’s really pleasing that he has chosen to continue and play in a French competition. He’s putting something back into the French game and he’ll take the professionalism that he has experienced at the Dragons into the Elite One league.

“It’s good for the game here and it will help Carcassonne develop and progress.”