Yorkshire news Catalans Dragons recruitment update with quota spots unoccupied for new season PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - The Dragons are still working ahead of the new season.
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Catalans Dragons general manager Alex Chan admits the club remain on the hunt for new additions ahead of the new Super League season. The French club followed their maiden Grand Final appearance in 2021 by losing at the first stage of the play-offs last term. It was a disappointing end to the season and Steve McNamara’s side are gearing up for the 2023 campaign with the disruption of the majority of their squad having been on World Cup duty. That means players will return to pre-season at staggered times but Chan insists the squad does not require major surgery – just a few additions in key positions. “Steve’s needs are pretty limited because we’ve got a good squad to run into the competition with,” Chan told Rugby League Live. “If a player becomes available who we might be interested in then we will pursue it further, so while I’m not saying the squad is finished, we’ve got a very good base to start with. Read more: Bradford Bulls winger set for move after premature Odsal exit “We’re currently at 25 players and still have a few quota spots available. Whether or not we’re going to use them, we’re not sure yet but we are still looking at players. There are some who are still available and there are others who we thought might be but are not. “In the meantime, we will see how things pan out, look to manage our squad and bring everyone back together for pre-season after the World Cup.” When asked about specific areas of the squad which needed strengthening, ex-Dragons player Chan said: “It’s known we’re looking for a centre, a middle and a back-rower. It’s pretty fair to say we’re looking right across the field because it’s safety in numbers. “We’ve definitely got some young boys who are playing in our domestic French competition who we anticipate bringing them up into the first-team squad. It’s just about giving them the game-time that they require and experience coming into pre-season with us. We don’t want to be taking them out of their domestic comp games when they won’t be able to get any game time with us until at least February.” Chan confirmed star men such as Mitchell Pearce, Josh Drinkwater and May were on board again for the coming season, with the latter currently recovering from a dislocated hip in Samoa’s World Cup opening defeat to England on October 15.
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. “But the majority of players at the World Cup, if not all of them, are currently contracted so that makes it hard [to sign them],” explained Chan. “It does whet your appetite, though, when you consider the players who are coming off contract next year. The possibility of bringing some of them over here to Catalans would be great.” IMG, meanwhile, recently set out three key areas of growth that rugby league should focus on in their recommendations for the future of the game. The three markets identified are France, the women’s game, and London. IMG have given their backing for the participation of French clubs in the domestic competitions, although there will be an initial cap of two non-British clubs. Alongside the new ‘grading system’ to be introduced for all clubs, these overseas sides would need to demonstrate their value to have those positions. They would also be required to have a minimum number of domestic players from that country, to show successful player development. Chan added: “We are the Catalans Dragons – situated in Perpignan in France – and producing our own players has ultimately always been the goal of the club anyway. “With us having our Academy in place, strengthening our development pathways, the whole aim of the club is to ensure that we not just fulfil the requirements of the competition but, more importantly, do our bit to strengthen the game in France and in the northern hemisphere in general.” France endured a disappointing World Cup campaign but the next tournament will be staged there in 2025. Chan said: “It’s a short turnaround until the next World Cup and, while Covid did affect life in general, it also had an impact on sports. The age group which missed those two years, hopefully those kids will now push through and potentially represent France in 2025. We’ve got some work to do but we’ve come through the other side of these challenges before and can do so again.” Read next Samoa become latest nation to declare interest in Test series against England Martin Offiah picks England's next captain with Sam Tomkins set to end Australia keen on England Ashes series after Rugby League World Cup exploits Penrith Panthers refusing to sign off World Club Challenge over prize money concerns French Wheelchair World Cup Final match official under review after conduct concerns
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