Catalans Dragons confirm exit of Matt Whitley ahead of expected St Helens move

The likes of Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves, Hull FC, Hull KR and Huddersfield Giants have all confirmed major signings for the 2024 season.

Many of these signings for 2024 have come from the NRL whilst there have also been signings from Super League rivals, such as Sam Walters who will link up with Wigan Warriors and leave Leeds Rhinos.

St Helens are another club who have gone down that route as they’ve brough in Daryl Clark from Warrington Wolves, the hooker set to be their James Roby replacement, whilst the Red Vee are also expected to sign Matt Whitley.

This move is now looking more and more likely given that Whitley’s current side Catalans Dragons have confirmed his exit.

The news was shared via the club:

“Catalans Dragons can confirm Matt Whitley will leave the club at the end of the 2023 season.

“The English back rower, who celebrated his 100th appearance for the Dragons last weekend, arrived at the club in 2019.

“Whitley, 27, scored 34 tries in 100 games during his time at the club.”

Matt Whitley said: “I has been a really difficult decision for me and my family to leave but that I am really proud and grateful to have played 100 games and to have spent the last 5 years here. Thank you to all the members of staff, players and sponsors for the work they have put in with me since joining the club.”

Steve McNamara added: “Matt has been tremendous from the day he arrived at the club. His contribution to the development of our team and the way he has embraced everything about the Dragons has berm outstanding. He will be a big loss to us but we part on great terms as we completely understand his reasons for heading back to England with his young family.”

In the press conference at the Magic Weekend, McNamara was asked about Whitley’s future as rumours circle and it was confirmed that he would be leaving the club at the end of the 2023 season to take on a new opportunity.

McNamara said he had “some big decisions to make” and had to think about his family.

Whitley meanwhile addressed his future on Sky Sports.

When asked, he said: “I am just focusing on playing for Catalans. I am more than happy with playing for Catalans week in week out and focusing on the season.”

Now Bill Arthur on Sky Sports has also said this move will be happening.

As Saints and Catalans met last week, Arthur said: “Matt Whitley playing for Catalans Dragons tonight, he will be a St Helens player next year.

“Can you imagine if he got over the try line tonight?”