McMeeken heading to Perpignan

Castleford Tigers forward Mike McMeeken will be a Catalans player in 2021.

The England international’s future has been up in the air for several weeks, but after reports emerged last week suggesting the Dragons were interested in him, League Express has now learned that McMeeken has agreed to sign.

The 26-year-old will end his six-season stint with Castleford, where he has developed into one of Super League’s most dynamic backrowers, to move across the Channel.

He has blossomed under the coaching of Daryl Powell since joining from London Broncos, making his England debut in 2017. But his time at Castleford will now end at the conclusion of the current season, which is due at the end of November.

League Express understands that rugby union club Saracens had shown an interest in signing McMeeken at one stage, but he is now set to remain in Rugby League next year after agreeing to become the latest Englishman to head to the south of France.

McMeeken admitted in January he would have been open to returning the code he first played as a youngster.

“I haven’t played union for a long time,” he said.

“I played down south in the winter, then league in the summer, so I do have a background in it. It’s something I would consider, but at the moment I’m massively focused on Castleford and getting the silverware we need, while making sure I’m in the team. To do that I have to better myself.”

However, he will now link up with fellow Englishmen Tom Davies, Sam Tomkins, Matt Whitley, Joel Tomkins, Michael McIlorum and head coach McNamara, who has managed to convince McMeeken to commit his future to the Catalans.