Josh Drinkwater has discussed his “disappointing” exit from Catalans while the half-back insists that Warrington is the right move for the next chapter in his career.
The 30-year-old was told his services were no longer required for the 2023 Super League campaign by the Dragons, which quickly transitioned into the switch to Warrington under Daryl Powell ahead of the new season.
It ends his three year stay in France, while he also enjoyed the 2018 season in Perpignan with the club. Stints with London Broncos, Leigh and Hull KR has seen him notch up 143 Super League appearances to date, crossing for 24 tries.
Now, the Australian playmaker is underway with pre-season at his seventh club, having also featured in the NRL for both St George Illawarra and Wests Tigers.
“It’s been a really smooth transition for me,” Drinkwater told Love Rugby League.
“I can’t speak highly enough of the people at the club. They’ve been so welcoming and very helpful. It’s been very professional.
“I’ve been a few weeks behind everyone else, but everyone is training hard and the attitude is great. It’s a good vibe at the moment around the place.”
Josh Drinkwater on time in France and linking up with Warrington
Eager to start pre-season as quickly as possible with his new club, Drinkwater’s current living situation is in a hotel in the town, while doing his laundry at the training facilities in Padgate, as he waits to move into his new home in Stockton Heath.
And while admitting his time at Catalans came to a disappointing end, the Sydney-born player is excited to start a new chapter with a club he has admired from afar.
“This was done pretty early, the deal with Warrington,” Drinkwater said. “I knew I was coming for a while, I just has to sort some stuff out with Catalans and that dragged out a bit longer than I wanted, a lot longer to be honest.
“It was a little disappointing the way it all finished there, but as I’ve said before, rugby league is a business and I understand that. That was all part of it, but I’m very happy to be at Warrington now.
“I loved my time in France. It was a great place to live and I made friends from a different side of the world speaking a different language. It was special.
“On the field, we didn’t quite achieve what we wanted to, but we reached a Grand Final and I thought personally I played some of my best footy there that I have in my career.
“As I say, the way I left was a little disappointing, but looking back as a whole it was a great experience and I’m very grateful for my time there.
“I wanted to come to a club that wants success” – Josh Drinkwater
“Warrington is a club that I’ve admired from afar for some time and to have the opportunity to come here, it’s great.
“It was very quick. When it all went down with my agent, he rang me back after five or 10 minutes and said Warrington are keen. I think that was hit first point of call and I spoke to Daryl Powell pretty much straight away over Zoom and it was done straight away.
“My mind was made up. I wanted to come to a club that wants success and doesn’t accept anything else.”