Catalans have snapped up Australian Trent Robinson as their new head coach, to replace Kevin Walters from next season.
Robinson, 33, is currently assistant to Brian Smith at Sydney Roosters in the NRL, and has previously played in France for Toulouse, where he was also part of the coaching team that guided Olympique to the 2005 Challenge Cup semi-finals.
Dragons chairman Bernard Guasch said: “Since Kevin’s decision to leave the club at the end of the year, we have received more than 20 applications from Australian, UK, France and New-Zealand. Trent was part of our short list from the beginning. He is an up and rising australian coach with a strong technical knowledge.”
Robinson, who played for Sydney, Parramatta and Wests in the NRL and can speak fluent French said: “I know the French culture and way of life and I want the team to develop it own game . I know I am ready to manage a Super League team and I looking forward to that challenge.”
It was revealed earlier this year that Walters would not be staying beyond the current campaign following a tough 18 months after succeeding Mick Potter as coach at the beginning of 2009.
However, Walters did lead Catalans to within 80 minutes of a first ever Super League Grand Final last season, but they have struggled for form in the league this season, with just a Challenge Cup semi-final against highly-fancied Warrington to look forward to.
Catalans are hoping that Robinson will head to France as soon as possible to begin working with the club’s players and staff.
Club CEO Christophe Jouffret added: “His profile suits to our club which must improve after 5 years in Super League. He is young, ambitious, hard worker and with new ideas to develop French rugby league.”