By MATTHEW SHAW and STEVE BRADY
Catalans Dragons have tied down promising playmaker Arthur Mourgue to a new three-year deal.
The 21-year-old, who made four appearances for the Dragons as they reached the play-off semi-finals, has committed his long-term future to the club.
Mourgue filled in for Sam Tomkins at fullback and made a strong impression, despite playing out of position, with halfback his preferred spot.
He is now set to continue his development under coach Steve McNamara, with the club expected to announce his retention shortly.
The Dragons confirmed their second signing of the off-season on Friday in former Salford prop Gil Dudson, which TotalRL.com revealed as long ago as March.
The 30-year-old Cardiff-born frontrower said it was an easy decision to switch to Stade Gilbert Brutus and he couldn’t wait to meet his new team-mates.
He told League Express: “After speaking with coach Steve McNamara and President Bernard Guasch, and seeing the vision and desire they have for the club to be successful, it was a no-brainer for me.
“The squad that has been assembled is going to be up there challenging come the end of next season and I want to be a part of it. I’ve played with a few of the British lads before, so I’m looking forward to linking up with them again.”
Dudson is Catalans’ second signing for 2021 after releasing six first-team regulars. Former Castleford second-rower Mike McMeeken is already on board and several younger French players have been promoted into the squad as part of McNamara’s attempt to bring down the average age of players at the Dragons.
McNamara said: “Gil is a no-nonsense, no-frills style of prop who has a big physical presence. His performances week to week are to a consistently high standard and he has matured into a genuine leader. We look forward to the influence he will bring to our team.“
Catalans are unlikely to announce any further signings until the new year although they are in the market for further additions, with a focus on props.
But one player who could leave the Dragons is Lewis Tierney.
The former Wigan speedster is keen on a return to the UK and clubs have been alerted to his availability.
The 26-year-old is under contract in Perpignan for the 2021 season, but an early move could be on the cards. He made just five appearances this season, finding himself down the pecking order due to the form of Tom Davies.
Meanwhile the Catalans still awaiting the results of a meeting with the French Sports Ministry about the possibility of government aid following the financial impact of Covid-19.
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