“Welcome to the Dragons” – Catalans confirm Mitchell Pearce signing

Yesterday, Mitchell Pearce’s move to Catalans was all but confirmed when Newcastle Knights revealed they’d released him from his current deal, all that remained was for Catalans to officially announce his arrival.

Pearce, a former NRL Champion, has been one of the stalwarts of the game down under over the last decade. In 2015, he became the youngest ever player to reach 200 appearances in the competition and since then has racked up a further 109 leaving him with a whopping 309 NRL appearances seeing him secure his place in an exclusive club.

His legacy was further cemented in 2019 when he helped secure a second consecutive State of Origin success for New South Wales after the Blues had only won one series from 2006-17. That ironically came alongside the man he’ll be replacing at Catalans James Maloney.

Pearce and Maloney formed a killer partnership in Australia having also been the key to Sydney Roosters’ return to glory in 2013 under former Catalans coach Trent Robinson. They guided the Roosters to three consecutive Minor Premierships and the Premiership itself in 2013. Maloney had a similar impact at Catalans last season and now it’s time for Pearce to continue that good work next year. After all he’ll know exactly what’s needed to replace Maloney in the halves alongside Josh Drinkwater.

Pearce’s move to the south of France was confirmed by the Dragons this morning on Twitter. His arrival was revealed in a classy video depicting the number of classic Australian players to star for the Dragons.

The Dragons later released a statement confirming Pearce has signed an initial two-year deal with an option for a third meaning we could see him at the heart of the Catalans’ attack until the end of 2024 or at least until the end of 2023. By then who knows, perhaps we could have French Super League Champions.

In an interview with the club website, Pearce outlined his excitement over the move: β€œI am thrilled to have an opportunity to play for a proud rugby league team like Catalans. They have some of the most passionate fans in the sport and it is an honour to be able to represent them. I would like to thank Bernard Guasch and Steve McNamara and look forward to helping them achieve their goal of a Super League title.”

Meanwhile Head Coach Steve McNamara, who worked with Pearce at Sydney Roosters, echoed this enthusiasm: β€œWe are delighted and excited by the signing of Mitchell. He has had an incredible career in the NRL and having worked closely with him before I know the sheer quality and energy he will bring to our team.”

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