Catalans Dragons’ Arthur Mourgue aiming to return for St Helens clash in Challenge Cup

Catalans Dragons could be ready to unleash a secret weapon against St Helens in Saturday’s Challenge Cup quarter-final – a new, improved, Arthur Mourgue.

The 22-year-old French international has been bulking up in the gym while recovering from an ankle injury sustained in pre-season training and he told League Express he is bursting to get back onto the pitch.

“This is one of the games you don’t want to miss,” said Mourgue.

“It’s the biggest game of the season so far and I’d love to be a part of it.”

Mourgue has spent eleven weeks recovering from the injury and added: “Of course I’d like to play immediately but it’s important to be patient.

“It’s not my decision; the physio and the coaches will make that choice for me.

“There is a huge rivalry between St Helens and us and this home game is really exciting. We will need to be the best that we can be.

“Cup games are so intense because you know that if you make just one mistake, you lose and it is over. Every game is like a final and that’s what makes it so special.”

Mourgue is a big fan of the Challenge Cup after being on the sidelines during the Dragons’ historic Wembley triumph in 2018 and he is itching to help the club reach another final.

He added: “I was at Wembley with the club four years ago and it was massive for us, one of the greatest days in our history, not just for the Dragons but for French Rugby League.

“I had just played my first game of Super League the week before Wembley, so it was too soon for me to hope to be in the final squad, but I would love to make it all the way this year.”

Mourgue re-joined his team-mates at training last week for the first time since injuring his ankle.

He said: “It was so good to get back to my first session. The physio has done a really good job and worked so hard with me, and I was pretty motivated.

“The mood is good; it is still a new group and you can see the connections building now so I’m excited to finally be joining this new team.

“It’s clear that everybody has the same objective.”

Mourgue said he had used his injury time-out as productively as possible, adding”: “I tore a ligament in my left ankle and I’ve never had such a bad injury before.

“I was touch and go whether I would need surgery but hopefully that won’t be necessary now because everyone seems happy with how it has healed.

“It’s hard, when you are used to playing and training all the time it comes as a shock when it all stops. I’ve always enjoyed playing, but when you are forced to take a break, it makes you appreciate it even more.

“It’s so important to use that time well, to recover physically but also to look at the team as a spectator, to see where you could help with the new connections and the new systems that we have brought in this year.

“We’ve got a strong team and I understand how we are playing now and I’m learning every day.

“Obviously I try to keep my eye on Sam (Tomkins), Mitchell (Pearce) and Drinky (Josh Drinkwater) and try to take the best of their game and see how I can help use it to benefit the team.

“No one wants to be injured, but when it happens you must maximise your time out and work on things you wouldn’t normally have time to.

“Whether that is building strength in the gym or working on my knowledge of the game, it has been a good time for me to see other things from a different perspective.

“I’ve been doing a lot of weight training and hitting the gym hard too.”

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