The 10 Catalans Dragons stars from Huddersfield Giants victory who could face England next weekend

Ben Olawumi
Ben Garcia, Paul Seguier, Romain Navarrete

From left to right: Catalans Dragons stars Ben Garcia, Paul Seguier & Romain Navarrete are all likely to feature for France next weekend against England

Catalans Dragons edged out a victory against Huddersfield in Perpignan on Saturday evening despite a second half fightback from the Giants, eventually running out 22-18 winners on home soil with Frenchmen Théo Fages & Arthur Romano among their try-scorers.

The Dragons are likely to have a healthy contingent of players involved for France in next weekend’s clash with England, even more so given the unavailability of players from Championship outfit Toulouse Olympique.

Next Saturday’s men’s international forms part of a triple-header at Toulouse’s Stade Ernest-Wallon, with England & France’s women also squaring off and the day being completed with a Championship clash between Olympique and Featherstone Rovers.

Accordingly, we thought it only right to run through the 10 Dragons stars from Saturday’s big win against Huddersfield that are likely to be involved for Laurent Frayssinous’ France side in Toulouse, looked at alphabetically…

LRL RECOMMENDS: How France could line up against England in next weekend’s mid-season international, including numerous Catalans Dragons stars

Julian Bousquet

Julian Bousquet
Julian Bousquet in action for Catalans Dragons in 2024

Debuting for France back in 2011 against Scotland, 32-year-old Bousquet is among the most experienced of these 10 Dragons aces where international rugby league is concerned.

The Fabrezan-born forward has 15 France appearances to his name, as well as over 260 for Catalans, though hasn’t represented his country since a mid-season test against Wales in June 2022, scoring a try in a 34-10 win.

Alrix Da Costa

26-year-old hooker Da Costa surpassed a century of appearances for the Dragons at the back end of last season, scoring what was just a fifth try in their colours last month as Steve McNamara’s side beat Leeds Rhinos in Perpignan.

Born in the commune of Foix, he has scored two tries in nine appearances for France, both coming in a 24-10 victory against Ireland in November 2018. His international debut came two years prior against England in Avignon.

Jordan Dezaria

Avignon is Dezaria’s hometown, and he’s the first man in this list that has actually played in the British game for someone other than the Dragons – also featuring for Leigh (then Centurions), Oldham, Workington Town & Toulouse so far in his career.

The 27-year-old forward returned to Catalans for a second stint in 2021, and remains at the Stade Gilbert Brutus today, recently surpassing 50 senior appearances for the club. He debuted for France in October 2021 against England, and has five international appearances on his CV to date, scoring his only try at that level at the World Cup against Greece in 2022.

Theo Fages

Theo Fages
Theo Fages in action for Catalans Dragons in 2024

Fages’ dad Pascal featured 16 times for France in his own career, and if selected next weekend, the 29-year-old will equal his father’s international appearance tally. A two-time Super League champion with St Helens, Theo joined Catalans ahead of this season and is fast approaching the milestone of 250 appearances in the British game.

The playmaker – who has also played for Salford Red Devils & Huddersfield – debuted for France back in October 2013 against Papua New Guinea, featuring off the interchange bench in a dramatic 9-8 win. He has not made an international appearance since November 2018 though, when he scored a try in a 28-10 win against Scotland in a World Cup Qualifier.

Ben Garcia

31-year-old Garcia – born in the commune of Apt – is the captain of both the Dragons and France. He has both Algerian & Spanish heritage, but opted to represent his home country and now has 15 international appearances on his CV, last featuring for Les Blues at the delayed 2021 Rugby League World Cup.

Able to slot in at loose, in the second row or at centre, Garcia made his senior debut for Catalans in 2013 and hasn’t donned the shirt of any other club since – moving to the NRL with Penrith Panthers very briefly in 2016, but returning to the Dragons without making an appearance Down Under. He’s now featured over 230 times for the Dragons in total.

Franck Maria

Maria, 26, only made his senior debut for Catalans in March and until the start of this year – as Dragons boss McNamara referenced recently – was a part-time player.

Nevertheless, he’s definitely in contention for international selection having already made his France debut in a huge 78-10 victory against Serbia last September. That one-off game was held in Belgrade.

Arthur Mourgue

Arthur Mourgue
Arthur Mourgue in action for France in 2023

Mourgue, in our opinion, is one of the most underrated players in Super League, certainly in terms of full-backs. The 25-year-old is electric when he’s on top of his game, and has been a mainstay in Catalans’ team since circa 2021. His debut for the Dragons actually came almost six years ago, back in August 2018, and he’s now made 85 appearances for the club.

At international level, the Saint-Étienne native has six France appearances on his CV, debuting in October 2021 against England at the Brutus. Both of Mourgue’s international tries to date came at the delayed 2021 Rugby League World Cup, crossing the whitewash against both Greece & England.

Romain Navarrete

Occitania-born Navarrete won the Grand Final with Wigan in 2018, and having cut his teeth in the French Elite Championship, he’s now played for seven clubs in the British game including the Warriors – also starring for Swinton Lions, Hemel Stags, Wakefield Trinity, London Broncos, Toulouse & Catalans.

The 29-year-old prop, who has nine appearances for France to his name, returned to the Dragons for a second stint in 2023, surpassing 50 appearances for the club earlier this year. Navarrete’s international debut was made against England in 2016, and his most recent appearance for France came in a mid-season test against France in Albi in June 2022.

Arthur Romano

26-year-old Romano has featured five times for France, with all five of those appearances coming between June 2022 & April 2023. His only international try to date came at the World Cup in 2022 against England, crossing the whitewash at Bolton Wanderers FC’s Toughsheet Community Stadium.

Born in the commune of Carpentras, the centre came through the youth ranks at Catalans and debuted for the Dragons at senior level in May 2017. Having also spent time out on loan with Toulouse in both 2018 and 2019, Romano’s next appearance for Catalans will see him reach the milestone of 75 in the British game overall.

Paul Seguier

Paul Seguier
Paul Seguier in action for France at the delayed 2021 Rugby League World Cup

Albi native Seguier is also 26, and too has five appearances for France against his name. His international bow came in October 2021 against England at the Brutus, and the utility forward went on to start in the second row in all three group games Les Blues played at the World Cup the following year.

Seguier has had loan spells with Toulouse and Barrow Raiders, but has never permanently departed Catalans having made his debut at senior level for the Dragons in September 2016. He’s now just four appearances away from reaching the milestone of 100 in the British game overall.