Catalans Dragons have confirmed that they have been accepted to compete in the Super League Academy U19 competition.
The decision was taken at the Super League AGM, held this week.
“After a year of transition, we are delighted to officially join the Super League Academy next season,” said Dragons chief executive Christophe Jouffret.
“It’s a great news and a great reward after all the efforts done by the club over the last few years.
“The other Super League clubs understand the necessity for us to launch our Academy team to provide homegrown players to the first team squad.
“The U19 team will help us to meet both the quota player obligations and to increase the number of French players that will benefit not only the Catalans Dragons but also French Rugby League.
“We have seen this season the quality of the French development system, with many players who have confirmed that they have a bright future.
“The great performances of the Dragons U19’s with their recent win against Wigan or at Hull earlier this season, and the victory of the France U18 team against England Academy, show us that we are going in the right direction and encourages us to continue our efforts.
“As with Fouad Yaha, who came through our development system and became the youngest player ever to play for the Dragons and the youngest French player to play in Super League, we hope that others will follow in his footsteps to build the future of our club. “
Dragons chairman Bernard Guasch was also pleased with the decision taken by the AGM.
“I’m delighted with the RFL decision to accept us in the Super League Academy U19 competition,” he said.
“It’s a new step forward for our club and we’ll now be able to produce more homegrown players.”
Dragons U19 headcoach Thierry Dumaine added: “I’m really happy to have the green light from the RFL for next season.
“We have worked really hard last season to develop and build strong structures for our Youth Development system and it’s a great reward for all the investments done by the club.
“This first season is already a success with the emergence of Fouad Yaha and I would like to congratulate my staff, Guillaume Aggery, Patrick Noguera and Maxence Rivière.”