James Maloney plans to stay in France after leaving Catalans

Drew Darbyshire
Catalans Dragons player James Maloney has signed for Lezignan

James Maloney plans to stay in France for “a year or two” when he leaves Catalans at the end of the season.

The 35-year-old has announced that he will retire from professional rugby league at the end of the year.

Maloney, who has been linked with a move to French Elite Championship side Lezignan, says he plans to stay in the south of France with his family for a little while after departing the Dragons.

“I think we are going to enjoy the south of France for a year or two,” Maloney told team-mate Sam Tomkins in an interview on the club’s YouTube channel.

“We love it here and it is such a good opportunity. I’m going to go back into coaching, that is path I’d like to follow. I’ll give it a couple of years and see what is going on back home (in Australia).

“I always wanted to come to the Super League and finish up over here. In France the climate is more like Australia and it is where I wanted to be. I’m very happy that it has all worked out the way it has.”

Maloney has made more than 300 career appearances, including three for Australia and 14 for New South Wales in State of Origin.

He wants to finish on a high with Catalans by helping deliver the club’s first-ever Super League title.

“It’d be massive,” he said. “They’ve got very passionate supporters here in Perpignan.

“It was a massive goal of mine to come over here and be part of that first side to win the first Premiership with the club and nothing has changed there, it is still a massive focus of mine so with a couple more months of hard work, fingers crossed, we can do it.”