Fakir snubs union switch

French international forward Jamal Fakir has rejected a move to rugby union and committed himself to Catalans.

The Dragons had agreed to release the 27-year-old from the final year of his contract to help in negotiations over a possible code switch, with French rugby union side Castres, who had agreed a one-year deal with Fakir.

However, he has now signed a two-year contract extension with Catalans, keeping him at the Stade Aime Giral until the end of the 2013 season.

Dragons CEO Christophe Jouffret said: “Jamal became a key player in the team since he signed in 2006. We are delighted to have kept him at Perpignan despite the tough competition with the French rugby union club.”

Fakir has made 80 appearances in Super League for the Dragons, scoring 10 tries, since debuting in their inaugural season. Two knee injuries hampered his progress in 2007, but he recovered and was part of the France World Cup squad in 2008.

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