Founded in 2000 as Union Treiziste Catalane (UTC), the Catalans Dragons were successful in their application to join Super League in 2006.
Since then, the French side has become a stable top-flight club, winning the Challenge Cup for the first time in their history in 2018 and attracting many talented players. Here are five of the best stars to have plied their trade in Perpignan in the Super League era.
A Dragon from the very beginning, prop forward Remi Casty has seen the highs and lows at the Stade Gilbert Brutus in two spells. His first – which lasted seven years – yielded 188 appearances before a one-year stint at Sydney Roosters ended the magnificent run. Of course, Casty returned in 2015 and helped guide the club to the Challenge Cup heroics in 2018. Just shy of 150 appearances later and the rampaging forward retired at the end of 2020, going down in Catalans folklore as one of their very greatest.
If ever there was a player that summed up the Catalans club it is Thomas Bosc. Like Casty, Bosc was there from the very beginning, yet he spent his whole career in the south of France, becoming an ever-integral figure. From 2006 to 2017 when he retired, the playmaker racked up almost 1,500 points in just shy of 250 games. In doing so, Bosc established himself as the club’s all-time leading points scorer. With a superb management style of play and an incredible kicking and goalkicking game, the winger/fullback-turned-halfback was a revelation.
One of the finest halfbacks to grace the French field, Scott Dureau made the move to Catalans ahead of the 2011 season. The rest, they say, is history; the diminutive scrum-half made the Super League Dream Team in 2011 and 2012 as well as scooping up the Albert Goldthorpe Medal in 2012. Despite playing just under 100 games for the Dragons, Dureau registered over 800 points with the combination between him and Bosc proving to be one of the most lethal until the Australian retired at the end of 2015.
The first French captain of Catalans – appointed in 2007 – Gregory Mounis saw all of his professional career out in the south of France. A no-nonsense, explosive loose forward, Mounis played 274 games for the club, scoring 30 tries and even kicking 20 goals in an 11-year career. Named in the Dragons’ Team of the Decade in 2016, the Perpignan native retired at the end of that season.
Over 300 appearances in the NRL later and ‘Beaver’ made the move to Bradford ahead of the 2009 season. After two years at Odsal, Menzies moved to Perpignan much to the shock of most of the Rugby League fraternity considering his ripe-old age of 37. But, like a fine wine, the Australian forward seemingly improved as he neared the 40-year-old mark, having a hand in numerous tries with his athleticism and natural technical ability. In fact, Menzies was included in the 2011 Super League Dream Team.