Romain Navarrete has made the switch from Toulouse Olympique to return to Perpignan and re-sign with Catalans Dragons and in his first interview since re-signing he’s hinted that more signings could be joining him.
The Frenchman sadly missed the World Cup due an injury sustained during his time with Toulouse and therefore he was one of the players that head coach Steve McNamara had in pre-season, albeit he was rehabbing.
Navarette has given his first interview to the French club’s Youtube channel since re-signing for the team that he played for between 2015 and 2016 and he’s seemingly very happy to return.
“It’s been a few years, I would have liked to come back before if the circumstances had been right but I’m here and I’m happy to show the Dragons fans that I didn’t work all these years in England for nothing, that I could come back today and bring all the experience I acquired.”
In recent years the Dragons have performed well finishing fourth and first in the league the past two seasons, making the Grand Final in the 2021 season, with Navarrete making it clear he’d joined to help the Dragons win.
“I think after years away we realise how lucky we are here to experience the structure of Dragons rugby and to play now near the top of the table too it’s very good.
“It’s flattering when you’re a player and knowing that the coach wants you to return to the club but everything isn’t just handed to you. I will have to work hard and that’s why I’ve worked hard during these first six weeks of pre-season.
“There are still some who will arrive and then I hope to make the team and show him (McNamara) that he’s right to have brought me back here.”
With that admission that he will have to fight for his place and players are set to join it’s a question of who will sign for a Dragons side that have lost the likes of Gil Dudson, Sam Kasiano and Josh Drinkwater all to Warrington Wolves.
Mathieu Cozza and Samisoni Langi have also left for English clubs whilst the Perpignan team have lost Corentin Le Cam, the tallest Super League player of all time, to the 15 man code.
Navarrete joins alongside Tom Johnstone and Manu Ma’u from Wakefield Trinity and Hull FC respectively, whilst Sydney Roosters pair Siosiua Taukeiaho and Adam Keighran also join McNamara’s new look Dragons.
Navarrete was keen to note that those friendships from his previous time in Perpignan remain and as such remains confident of a successful season.
“We have not lost the bonds of friendship that we had created in my first years here but it feels good to see them again and I think that the performances will come because when you feel good in a team you’re playing in, it’s reflected on the field so I think that the objective was to make the playoffs and now the goal is to win a title.”