Catalans Dragons remain the only French club in Super League following Toulouse Olympique’s brief stint that saw them promoted and relegated straight back down again.
For many Super League players, particularly those who from warmer climates such as Australia and New Zealand, the move to Perpignan is one that makes plenty of sense.
Add in the fact that the Dragons have been one of the most consistent sides over recent years and have gone as far as becoming the first French side to lift the Challenge Cup and have also made it to the Grand Final then Catalans is becoming a hotspot for Super League talent.
One man who was made the switch is Hull FC’s Manu Ma’u with the second-rower joining following a three-year spell on Humberside.
He’ll add plenty to a pack that has lost the likes of Gil Dudson and Sam Kasiano to Warrington, and in his first interview as a Dragon he’s explained why he made the switch.
“I’m really enjoying being in Perpignan, it’s a massive change form living in England for three years but it’s been real refreshing.
“Obviously it’s a new country but it’s not the first time, I started in Australia, then the UK and now here but the family has adjusted to it and here we go. I’ve taken a lot of French lessons since arriving here.”
Playing just 14 games for the Airlie Birds in his final season with them Ma’u reveals he underwent surgery at the end of the season and gave an update on his fitness heading into round one.
“I had surgery at the end of the year, I feel stronger now and I’ve been in the gym getting stronger and making sure I’m ready come round one.
“I think I needed the change, when I spoke to Steve McNamara about coming to transition to France it was something that I was keen to do.”
Ma’u will be pushing for fitness like many of his new teammates with Catalans having undergone an injury crisis among their star players such as Sam Tomkins, Mike McMeeken and Fouad Yaha.
He could feature in the one pre-season friendly that has been arranged with Catalans set to face a young selected French side from the Elite One league in France.
Ma’u had made the comments when speaking with new club Catalans Dragons on their Youtube channel.