Catalans could be asked to groundshare with Perpignan rugby union

The mayor of Perpignan wants Catalans Dragons to move to Stade Aime Giral and groundshare with rugby union side USAP.

During a recent council meeting, the future of the two teams and stadia were discussed.

The Dragons’ Stade Gilbert Brutus home would then be available for use by a high-level football team in Perpignan.

Catalans started life in Super League at Stade Aime Giral, playing there in 2006 wile Gilbert Brutus was renovated.

They also played a handful of games there in 2010.

The club have so far remained tight-lipped on the speculation.

Local side Canet relocated a French Cup game to the stadium early this year, recording a famous win over giants Marseille.

Canet currently play in the fourth tier of the French football pyramid.

Stade Aime Giral’s capacity is just under 15,000, with USAP having returned to the French Top 14 for the 2021/22 season.

They were French champions in 2009 and were European Cup finalists in 2003.

Catalans groundshare to replicate Toulouse

The blossoming relationship between the rugby sides in Toulouse has been cited as a reason to explore a groundshare.

However, relationships in Perpignan are a lot more frosty given the historical context between the two codes.

On that, Toulouse coach Sylvain Houles told Love Rugby League: “We plan to link up again on the pitch with Stade Toulousain once the Covid restrictions allow.

“We obviously maintain contact because our offices are next door to theirs at the stadium and there is a really good relationship between staff and players.

“There is so much to learn from each other, and we’ve taken things a step further now because we’ve established a WattsApp group between the coaches of all professional sports organisations in the city, rugby union, football and Handball which is a really big sport in France.

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“We meet regularly online and share our thoughts, that’s the way we do things in Toulouse. There is a good feeling in the city at the moment, it’s a great time to be working and living there.

“Professional sport in Toulouse is on a massive high and as coaches in our individual sports we can work together to benefit from each other.

“When the time is right, with Covid of course, we will have training and coaching sessions once more with the rugby union team.

“They, like us, learn most from a change of environment and an exchange of ideas. But we can also learn from other sports and they from us.”

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