Catalans Dragons’ reputation for big-name signings from down under is set to continue, following a statement by club President Bernard Guasch to “get ready for some big news!”
Guasch (pictured) told local press in Perpignan, “We are preparing to make some big announcements, new players who will make some noise.”
Those announcements are likely to include the recruitment of NRL star halfback Mitchell Pearce as a replacement for stand-off James Maloney, while Catalans are also being heavily linked with forwards Sio Siua Taukeiaho (Sydney Roosters) and Dylan Napa (Canterbury Bulldogs).
Taukeiaho is a close friend of former Catalans’ prop Sam Moa, who switched from Super League to French Elite One champions Lézignan last year, and the 29-year-old Tonga and Kiwi international is understood to be keen on a move to France, although any deal may have to wait until season 2023 unless the Roosters grant him an early release him from his current contract.
Napa may be wearing blood and gold at Stade Gilbert Brutus much sooner than that as the 28-year-old prop is said to be awaiting news on his former Roosters’ team-mate Pearce before he decides to join him on a flight to Perpignan.
The Dragons are in the market for forwards and the red-haired State of Origin big-hitter Napa would slot straight into the pack at Stade Gilbert Brutus, but his recruitment seems heavily linked to a decision by Newcastle Knights to release Pearce from the final year of his contract in the NRL.
Both Pearce and Napa worked alongside Catalans coach Steve McNamara when he was assistant to Roosters coach Trent Robinson and the players remain good friends.
Other options for Napa include a switch to brand new NRL club The Dolphins, whose coach Wayne Bennett tried to recruit him when he coached Brisbane Broncos.
Catalans’ General Manager Alex Chan recently confirmed that the club were looking for a halfback, frontrower and threequarter and the club is also searching for a new assistant coach and performance manager following the departure of Richard Hunwicks.
Pre-season training for the Dragons is scheduled to begin on Monday November 29th.
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