Leeds Rhinos snap up France star from Catalans Dragons: ‘He has his best years ahead of him’

Drew Darbyshire
Mickael Goudemand Catalans Dragons Leeds Rhinos Alamy

Leeds Rhinos have signed France international forward Mickael Goudemand from Catalans Dragons on a two-year deal from next season.

The 27-year-old has made 95 appearances for Catalans since joining the Dragons from hometown club Avignon in 2018.

Goudemand, who has won 12 caps for France and represented his country at last year’s World Cup, helped Catalans win the Challenge Cup at Wembley in 2018.

On signing Goudemand, Leeds coach Rohan Smith said: “Mickael is a very impressive individual.

“He’s a physical, hard-working and experienced guy to complement our young forward pack. 

“He has the best years of his career still ahead of him and speaks very good English.

“He will compliment our group, both on and off the field.

“Throughout his career, he has shown that he is an ambitious player who backs himself to perform at the highest level, as he has done with Catalans and France, and we look forward to having him at the Rhinos in 2024.”

Goudemand played 65 games for Avignon in the French Elite Championship between 2010-16 before having a short spell with Dewsbury and then signing for Catalans.

He will join fellow French international Justin Sangare at the Rhinos in 2024.

Leeds Rhinos prop Sam Walters to join Wigan Warriors in 2024

Earlier this week, Wigan Warriors confirmed the signing of prop Sam Walters from Leeds Rhinos on a three-year deal from next season.

The 22-year-old front-rower joined the Rhinos academy from Widnes in 2019, winning academy player of the year in his debut season.

He made his Super League debut in the back-row against Catalans in September 2020 and has gone on to make a further 28 appearances in the competition, scoring five tries.

The highly-rated forward featured from the bench during the 2022 Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford against St Helens.

Walters said: “I am looking forward to joining Wigan Warriors next season.

“To be part of such a successful team is exciting and I can’t wait to develop my game and become a small part in future success.

“Thank you to Leeds Rhinos for the last few years but I felt the time was right for me to take on this challenge.”

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