As Leeds Rhinos, Warrington Wolves, Hull KR and Salford Red Devils still fight for the play offs, at the top Wigan Warriors, St Helens and Catalans Dragons have been battling for the League Leaders’ Shield.
The Dragons are hoping to right the wrongs of 2021 when they lost the Grand Final to St Helens.
They have added motivation to do so with Sam Tomkins set to retire among a lot of change over in the playing roster.
And that has been added to by the fact Mitchell Pearce has announced his decision to retirement.
He said on social media:
“Hey guys – I’ve decided that this season will be my last in rugby league.
“What a journey it’s been. I finish the game knowing I have given every bit of my heart and soul for nearly 18 years.
“I’ve had some amazing times and leave the game with friends I know I’ll have for the rest of my life.
“I still have a job to do with Catalans Dragons and I’m all in to go after that trophy and make history for French Rugby League.”
Catalans Dragons have also confirmed Siua Taukeiaho will be released from the remainder of his contract at the end of the 2023 season for family reasons.
The club also made it clear that they “will be ready to negotiate if the player finds a new opportunity elsewhere.”
The Tongan prop arrived at the club this season and made 7 appearances for the Dragons in an injury-blighted season.
The club have also taken the opportunity to wish him all the best for the future.
Siua Taukeiaho : “It’s been a disappointing season with the number of injuries I have had. I love this place, I wish I could have stayed longer but I need to put my family first. I remain 100% focused on my objectives with the club until the end of the season. I will do everything to get my body right to help the team to win the competition. I haven’t signed anywhere else. If that happens, both clubs will then negotiate.”
Bernard Guasch : “We’ve had a discussion with Siua and we understand his decision to return to Australia. He is very frustrated with his season and would have liked to contribute more to the club’s performances. We know he is going to do everything he can to be competitive for the last games of the season and to help the team to achieve its objectives.”
The Dragons have already been looking for a prop since Dylan Napa left the club. They now have an extra quota spot to utilise.
Interestingly, he isn’t the only Catalans player expected to move to the NRL with Mitchell Pearce set to head that way in 2024.
Tyrone May was also linked with a move to Canterbury Bulldogs but this reportedly fell apart.