Tom Johnstone turned down marquee player salary to secure Wakefield Trinity return

Aaron Bower
Tom Johnstone Catalans Dragons SWpix Super League

Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

Catalans Dragons have revealed that Tom Johnstone turned down a marquee player-level salary in favour of a return to Wakefield Trinity in 2025.

The Dragons announced on Wednesday that Johnstone would be leaving the club at the end of the season, as has been speculated for a number of months. Johnstone will sign at Wakefield, marking a return to the club he left only two years ago ahead of their likely return to Super League.

And the Dragons revealed they offered ‘contractual and rugby temptations’ to try and convince him to remain at the club, including a salary that would have elevated him into the status of one of Catalans’ three permitted marquee players.

However, Johnstone chose what Catalans described as his ‘desire to take his young family back to England’ as the driving force behind his next move in 2025.

“The England international turned down a contract extension with Marquee Player status in the Dragons squad, with a significant pay increase,” they said.

“Despite being given both contractual and rugby temptations to stay, the desire to take his young family back to England, and have that important support from relatives, was something that the club could not fight against and fully respects.”

In his own personal statement, Johnstone admitted he believed the time was right to return to England.

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He said: “Firstly I’d like to thank Steve (McNamara) for taking a chance on signing me and giving me this opportunity after a tough few years of injuries and for having the faith in me. Also thank you to Matt Parr for working so closely with me keeping me fit and healthy these past few seasons.

“Without them both, I don’t believe I would have played the amount of games I have and achieved personally what I did.

“I would also like to thank Bernard Guasch, the staff at Brutus and the fans for welcoming me into this amazing club, the atmosphere in the Brutus is incredible and I will remember the 2023 semi final forever.

“Me and my family have loved our time in this beautiful place, adapting to the proud Catalan and French culture. But we feel it is the right time for us to return home to be closer to our family and friends.

“I’m immensely proud of last year although we didn’t quite achieve what we set out for in winning the Grand Final, but I promise I will be doing everything I can to finish my time at this club on a high and winning the competition as the club and fans deserve.

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