Catalans Dragons are set to splash the cash ahead of the 2024 Super League season to build up the necessary squad depth with owner Bernard Guasch giving a brutal assessment of the club’s younger players.
This is a real surprise with the club having produced a number of great French players in recent years but many of them have become first team players with no one pushing up behind them.
This has been made more important with some pillars in the side leaving the club such as Sam Tomkins and Mitchell Pearce which has left the squad strained.
Speaking to L’Independant in France, Guasch said that there is a lack of size among the younger players:
“We lack size among young people. We no longer had players with the physique of a Jérôme Guisset or a Pascal Jampy or the talent of a Greg Mounis and a Thomas Bosc. Then we had Morgan Escaré, who had this pure talent, but he missed out behind.”
He went on to accuse them of impatient and not being Super League ready:
“The problem often is that we see players between 19 and 20 years old in Dragons uniform, without them having played a single match. It’s too much. Some people lack humility and patience. Young people have to work, hard, very hard and wait their turn. But they don’t make the necessary effort to wait their turn. From 18-19 years old, they want to play in the Super League, although they are not ready.”
He went on to compare them to their English counterparts: “Except that with us, at that age, they are not mature. We take them too late in a system of rigor and nine players out of ten do not make the transition to this rigor at once. In England, this rigor exists from the age of 14-15.
“We have been doing this for three years with the Campus des Dragons where the players are between 15 and 17 years old. We are putting more and more financial and human resources into training and that is having a big impact. Perhaps one, two or three will come out in one or two years and that will be a first step. There are twelve rugby schools in the department, everyone works in their own corner, wanting to beat the neighbour, but in the middle, I know these young people lack physical resources.”
This means the French club are set to splash the cash on signings to boost their squad.
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