Catalans Dragons 2022 preview: Finding the next step for France
It’s a sign of how far that Catalans have come in recent years that 2021 wasn’t enough.
A historic first Super League Grand Final appearance ended in defeat to St Helens, meaning they had to settle for the League Leaders’ shield as their only silverware.
When quizzed about the year that was in pre-season, coach Steve McNamara was keen to stress that despite their progress, they remained disappointed not to complete the job.
Now joined in Super League by fellow French side Toulouse, there will surely be even more eyes on the Dragons to keep the flag flying.
Their recruitment has been eye-catching too – with three big name captures from the NRL to join their ever-growing contingent of French youngsters breaking through.
The loss of winner James Maloney has been tempered by the signing of Mitchell Pearce, while Sam Tomkins remains at the peak of his power.
The Dragons will be serious contenders.
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What they said
Coach Steve McNamara was in a determined mood at the Super League media launch.
He said: “We finished top of the regular season but we missed out on two of the main trophies which were up for grabs. Clearly there’s room for improvement but it’s the second year on the run that we’ve shown consistency throughout the league and finished in the top four.
“The three players we’ve recruited have all been involved in the top end games. They’ve seen it, they’ve felt it, they understand what it takes to get there which is the main thing.
“We’ve seen teams that have got to the Grand Final and not managed to get back there for a long time, so bringing those players in is important for us.”
Catalans Dragons 2022 preview key info
Coach: Steve McNamara (since June 2017).
Captain: Ben Garcia.
In: Mitchell Pearce (Newcastle Knights), Dylan Napa (Canterbury Bulldogs), Tyrone May (Penrith).
Out: Joel Tomkins (retired), Jason Baitieri, James Maloney (both Lezignan).
Catalans Dragons 2022 squad in full
1. Arthur Mourgue, 2. Tom Davies, 3. Samisoni Langi, 4. Dean Whare, 5. Fouad Yaha, 6. Mitchell Pearce, 7. Josh Drinkwater, 8. Gil Dudson, 9. Micky McIlorum, 10. Julian Bousquet, 11. Matt Whitley, 12. Mike McMeeken, 13 Benjamin Garcia, 14. Alrix Da Costa, 15. Benjamin Jullien, 16. Paul Séguier, 17. Mickael Goudemand, 18. Matthieu Laguerre, 19. Arthur Romano, 20. Tyrone May, 21. Corentin Le Cam, 22. Dylan Napa, 23. Jordan Dezaria, 24. Mathieu Cozza, 25. César Rougé, 26. Romain Franco, 27. Joe Chan, 28. Sam Kasiano, 29. Sam Tomkins, 30. Florian Vailhen.
Odds: Grand Final winner 6/1 (3rd), Regular season winners 4/1 (3rd)
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