Minimal squad number changes anticipated at Catalans Dragons

Catalans Dragons will unveil their playing group for 2022 in a season-launch party in Perpignan tomorrow (Tuesday) with all eyes on the squad number being given to latest recruit Tyrone May.

The 25-year-old Samoa international has signed a one-year deal in Perpignan and will be joining the Dragons alongside fellow new Australian recruits Mitchell Pearce and Dylan Napa after Christmas.

May had been playing at halfback for NRL Grand Final-winners Penrith Panthers, although Catalans coach Steve McNamara is expected to use him as a utility player at centre, hooker, fullback and second-row.

“Tyrone will add great quality, depth and competition for places within our team,” said McNamara.

“He arrives as a current Grand Final winner and his versatility and ability to play many positions to a high standard will be a huge asset for us.”

May was released by the Panthers following comments he made on social media about his conviction for recording and distributing intimate images, and the player said he was “grateful” for the opportunity offered to him by Catalans.

May added, “I can’t thank the coach Steve McNamara, Alex Chan (General Manager) and President Bernard Guasch enough for allowing me to come to such a great club with an amazing fan base.

“I am eager to meet my new team-mates and gain their respect by working hard to go one better this year.”

The Dragons will reveal their line-up for next season at the Palais De Congress and the only change to the top 17 numbers is expected to be Mitchell Pearce in at number 6 following the departure of James Maloney.

Catalans have also been linked with Sydney Roosters’ 29-year-old prop-forward Sio Siua Taukeiaho, with reports down under that he has agreed to join the Dragons in 2023.

Taukeiaho had been a target for new NRL side the Dolphins but has chosen to reunite with his former Roosters team-mates Sam Moa, Pearce and Napa in Super League.

Meanwhile, Catalans have recruited Matt Parr as new Head of Performance at Stade Gilbert Brutus following the departure of Richard Hunwicks.

Cumbrian-born Parr is a former rugby union player for Saracens and Leicester and will leave his role as conditioning coach at the latter to join the Dragons in the New Year.

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