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Leeds Rhinos secure first signing for 2024

Leeds Rhinos have confirmed the signing of French international forward Mickael Goudemand on a two contract from Catalans Dragons from the 2024 season.  

The 27-year-old forward has been capped twelve times by France and was a Challenge Cup winner with Catalans at Wembley in 2018 in only his sixth game for the club. Prior to joining Catalans he made 65 appearances for hometown club Avignon in the French Elite Championship between 2010-16. He spent a brief period at Dewsbury in 2017 playing eight games to develop his game and then backed himself to earn a Super League contract by moving to Perpignan and joining the Dragons reserve team St Estève XIII Catalan, who he helped to win the Coupe de France.

He impressed Head Coach Steve McNamara and marked his debut for the Dragons with two tries against Whitehaven in the Challenge Cup in May 2018. He was then drafted into the Wembley side 24 hours before the Challenge Cup Final against Warrington after Louis Anderson was ruled out by a late fitness test. Remarkably, he only signed his first full time contract with the Dragons at the end of the 2018 season and after he had helped the club make history at Wembley. 

Originally from Vaucluse, he has gone on to make nearly 100 appearances for Catalans and will join up with the Rhinos at the end of the current campaign ahead of the 2024 season, joining international team mate Justin Sangare at Headingley and former colleague Richard Hunwicks, the Rhinos Performance Director, who worked with Catalans between 2017 and 2021.

Commenting on his signing, Head Coach Rohan Smith said, “Mickael is a very impressive individual. He is a physical, hard-working and experienced guy to complement our young forward pack.  He has the best years of his career still ahead of him and speaks very good English. He will compliment our group, both on and off the field. Throughout his career, he has shown that he is an ambitious player who backs himself to perform at the highest level, as he has done with Catalans and France, and we look forward to having him at the Rhinos in 2024.”

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