Experienced Catalans forward to leave club

Catalans have confirmed that forward Antoni Maria will leave the club at the end of this season.

The 33-year-old made his Super League debut in 2012 and has made a total of 71 appearances for the Dragons in all competitions.

He has also had spells with Toulouse, Leigh and Hull KR, as well as picking up several international caps for France.

He becomes the second veteran forward to leave the club in recent weeks, after Mickael Simon announced his departure, and will now link up with Lezignan in the French Elite One Championship.

“I would like to thank the club for the seven years I have spent here,” Maria said. “The Catalans Dragons have allowed me to live on my passion and I am very grateful.

Maria has spent the past nine years in Super League. Credit: News Images

“After this season, the timing is right for me to move on and start a new chapter with another great French club, Lezignan. I obviously wish to finish on a high with my teammates and I will continue to work hard every day to help the team go as far as possible in the competition.

“Finally, I would like to thank all the fans, I will only keep great memories of my years spent at the club.”

Catalans head coach Steve McNamara added: “Antoni is a whole hearted player who gives everything on the field. We look forward to him continuing to do this for rest of this season.

“We respect the decision he has made regarding his future. A good opportunity has arisen for him moving forward and he will definitely take his experience to strengthen the elite French competition.”