James Maloney brings curtain down on illustrious career

Josh McAllister
James Maloney, SWPix

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

James Maloney has featured in his last ever game and will now hang up the boots following Lezignan’s defeat in the semi-finals of the French Elite competition. 

Maloney, 36, will retire from the sport following more than 300 career appearances, dating back to his debut with Melbourne Storm in 2009.

The ex-Australia international has featured in the French competition across the last two seasons, with his side falling to a 36-10 defeat to Limoux in the semi-finals.

Maloney was named in the halves with ex-NRL stars Corey Norman and James Segeyaro also featuring at full-back and at nine respectively.

France international Jason Baitieri also appeared in his final game for the club, having penned a deal with Bradford for the remainder of the Championship season.

The occasion also marked the final game for forward Anton Maria, who has also decided to hang up the boots following the French Elite season. The 36-year-old has previously featured for Catalans, Leigh and Hull KR across his career, as well as representing France, including in the 2013 World Cup.

The victory however sees ex-NRL and Warrington loose forward Jason Clark continue his career, with his final game to come during the Grand Final against Carcassonne.

Treize Mondial has since reported that Maloney will return to Australia with the hopes of joining an NRL side’s backroom staff.

James Maloney features in final career game

Maloney left Catalans at the end of the 2021 Super League season to make the switch to the part-time French Elite competition, featuring across two seasons with Lezignan.

At the time, the ex-New South Wales playmaker admitted he had no regrets about his decision to take a step away from the professional game, despite playing well enough to be included in the 2021 Dream Team.

Maloney led the Dragons to their first ever Grand Final in his final season, falling short 12-10 to St Helens at Old Trafford.

The former Kangaroos playmaker won NRL Premierships with Sydney Roosters in 2013 and Cronulla Sharks in 2016. He also featured for New Zealand Warriors and Penrith Panthers across his stellar NRL career, featuring in the 2011 Grand Final with the former in a 24-10 defeat to Manly Sea Eagles. 

Maloney also featured in 14 State of Origins for New South Wales and won four caps for Australia, and was part of the 2017 World Cup winning Australia squad, making one appearance in the tournament Down Under. 

His final game in the French Elite 1 competition was streamed live on Youtube.

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