Nick Cotric and the 9 biggest Catalans Dragons signing ever – Sam Tomkins, Israel Folau..

Aaron Bower

Nick Cotric’s arrival at Catalans Dragons in 2025 marks another significant addition from the NRL for Steve McNamara’s side.

Cotric is the latest in a long line of players who have arrived with enormous reputations and, more often than not, have delivered in the south of France.

Here’s our rundown of the nine biggest signings in Catalans‘ history, how their time in Perpignan played out – and where new man Cotric sits in the order..

9. Clint Greenshields

One of the original big name signings in the south of France, fullback Greenshields made the switch to Super League with Catalans in 2007 – and had an instant impact.

He was only 25 at the time of his arrival and over six seasons with Catalans, established himself as a pivotal figure in their early days as a Super League club.

8. Louis Anderson

Anderson is an exception on this list is that he didn’t arrive at Catalans directly from the NRL, instead moving from Super League rivals Warrington Wolves.

But he makes the cut because of the impact he had in Perpignan, without question. He had seven seasons at Catalans, and was part of the squad that lifted the 2018 Challenge Cup. A pivotal figure in starting the emergence of Catalans as a leading light in Super League without doubt, and a real mainstay of their side in the mid-2010s.

7. Nick Cotric

The newest big name to sign for the Dragons is on this list in seventh place – but given the reputation he arrives with, he could easily move up it in the years ahead if he delivers.

Still only 25, Cotric is very much at the peak of his powers in terms of the stage of his career he is at as he prepares to move to France. A proven star in the NRL, he’ll be an outstanding addition for Super League, you would imagine – and will add real fire-power to a Catalans backline that will be undergoing an off-season overhaul.

6. James Maloney

James Maloney Catalans Dragons Alamy
James Maloney in action for Catalans Dragons in 2021 – Alamy

One of two elite-level Australian half-backs on this list to make it to Super League with Catalans, Maloney made the switch to the south of France for the 2020 season.

Unfortunately, supporters never got to see too much of Maloney in the flesh due to Covid-19 regulations. However, he certainly had some notable moments: not least helping them to secure the League Leader’s Shield for the first time in their history.

Maloney’s final match as a professional was in the 2021 Grand Final loss to St Helens – though he did remain in France for a period, playing semi-pro with Lezignan.

5. Mitchell Pearce

Mitchell Pearce Catalans Dragons Alamy

The Australian half-back arrived in France with a significant and serious reputation: and he was actually contracted to Newcastle Knights for 2022 before being granted a release to join Catalans, arriving as Maloney’s direct replacement.

He spent two seasons with the Dragons and generally had a positive impact on the club’s fortunes. He played a key role in getting them to the Super League Grand Final in 2023, where they just fell short to Wigan Warriors – and that proved to be Pearce’s final game as a professional.

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4. Israel Folau

Israel Folau made 15 appearances for Catalans

Folau was arguably the biggest name of them all to sign for Catalans, when he joined the club at the start of 2020. Unfortunately, he was released just 15 games into his Dragons career.

3. Greg Bird

Bird had a single season with Catalans in 2009 while he was facing off-field issues in Australia – before returning to the NRL and returning to the top of the sport with Gold Coast Titans, earning Kangaroos honours along the way, too.

That made his arrival back in Super League with Catalans in 2017 feel like an extremely big deal: and he played a pivotal role in establishing the Dragons as a force under Steve McNamara. He was part of the squad that lifted the 2018 Challenge Cup, spending three seasons in Perpignan before announcing his retirement.

When you look at players who have played a key role in the development of the Dragons in the last six or seven years, Bird’s name would be high on the list.

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2. Stacey Jones

The arrival of New Zealand legend Jones in France coincided with Catalans’ arrival in Super League in 2006. Still only 30 at the time, Jones’ switch to the Dragons was a huge, huge moment for the club.

While he only spent two seasons in the south of France, he was instrumental in getting the club established as a Super League side: epitomised by the fact he helped guide them to the Challenge Cup final in 2007.

The history of Catalans may have looked different, in the early years at least, without Jones.

1. Sam Tomkins

Sam Tomkins
Sam Tomkins in action in the 2023 Super League Grand Final

The sole Englishman on this list – but a major figure in the history of Catalans Dragons without question.

Tomkins’ arrival from Wigan Warriors was an extremely big deal; he was still at the top of his game, and his exit from the club with whom he’d been synonymous with in Super League marked a major moment in his career and the trajectory of the Dragons.

Together, while they didn’t quite get over the line in a Grand Final, Tomkins helped firmly establish Catalans as one of the leading lights in Super League: and there’s a strong argument that they haven’t been the same without him on the field.

He remains one of the most important men ever to have signed for Catalans.

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