McNamara expects Catalans to play all games in England for first month back

Catalans Dragons head coach Steve McNamara has provided an update regarding the club’s playing situation.

In April, the French government announced a ban on all sports in the country until September in the aim of preventing further spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This would likely cause logistical issues for McNamara’s side should Super League get back underway before then, however the Dragons boss says the club already have plans in place.

“The task force responsible for the delicate issue of match dates continues to meet regularly in England,” he told Catalans’ official club website. “It is a difficult process due to the scenario which is constantly changing.

“We expect to start playing in early August and potentially play all of August in England. The matches will then be played in France from September. The season will end with the Grand Final in late November or mid-December.

McNamara expects to be playing games in France again from September. Credit: Craig Milner/News Images

“All of this is clearly subject to government directives in effect between the two countries, including things like quarantine and security, etc. We hope that the dates of the meetings will be confirmed by the end of June and, as soon as we have clarifications, we will keep you informed immediately.”

Rugby league has been out of action since mid-March, with most players training remotely from home.

This has had a slight adverse effect on the fitness of some of the Dragons squad but McNamara insists that they will work to rectify that as soon as possible.

“The players are currently training individually, in small groups, away from Stade Gilbert Brutus,” he added. “Their attitude is exceptional, and they are in good physical shape.

“Lots of players have lost some weight slightly because they don’t have access to heavy weight training equipment, but we will focus on that in addition to our contact work and field suits when we are allowed to return and to train together.”

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