Catalans confirm capture of NRL outside-back

Drew Darbyshire
Matt Ikuvalu Cronulla Sharks Catalans PA

Photo: Dean Lewins/AAP/PA Images

Catalans Dragons have confirmed they have reached an agreement in principle to sign outside-back Matt Ikuvalu from Cronulla Sharks.

The French Super League side say the transfer remains subject to medical tests that the player will take upon his arrival in Perpignan at the beginning of next week.

The signing of Ikuvalu, who is comfortable playing on the wing or at centre, will fill one of Catalans’ remaining two quota spots.

Steve McNamara’s side would be able to bring in one more overseas recruit, should they wish to do so.

Cronulla grant Matt Ikuvalu release

The Sharks have confirmed that they have granted Ikuvalu a release from his contract so he can link up with Catalans in Super League.

Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon said: “This is a great opportunity for Matt and we wish him well.

“He has had injury issues since joining the Sharks however has always been a positive influence around the players and the club and we thank him for his contribution both on and off the field.”

More on Catalans’ newest recruit

Ikuvalu was born and raised in Sydney, Australia and is Tongan and European heritage.

The 6ft 0in, 100kg outside-back came through the junior ranks at his local club Sydney Roosters.

Ikuvalu had a prolific try scoring record for the Roosters, scoring 25 tries in 38 appearances between 2018-21, racking up 100 points in total for the club.

The Sydney-born back then made the move to fellow NRL club Cronulla Sharks ahead of the 2022 campaign. He has scored four tries in five appearances to date for the Sharks.

Ikuvalu has recently returned to action for Newtown Jets, Cronulla’s feeder club, in the New South Wales Cup following a seven-month injury lay-off.

It hasn’t yet been revealed what contract he has signed with the Dragons, but what we do know is that it is an imminent move, with him arriving in the south of France next week.

Ikuvalu will add strength in depth to McNamara’s side, who already have the likes of Tom Davies, Tom Johnstone and Adam Keighran among their ranks.

The Dragons are currently fourth in the Super League table, having won six from their first nine games of the season.

Next up for Catalans is a trip to the AJ Bell Stadium to take on Salford in Round 10 of Super League on Sunday afternoon.

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