What next for Tony Gigot? – Former Lance Todd Trophy winner turns 32 but still remains without a club for 2023

Tony Gigot is perhaps one of the best French players to have played in Super League but despite that he remains without a club for the upcoming 2023 season.

The playmaker turned 32 yesterday so is by no means at the end of the road, but following his departure from Toulouse Olympique in September he still hasn’t signed for another club.

Gigot, who starred for Catalans Dragons for much of his career including in the side’s infamous Challenge Cup win in 2018 in which he earned the Lance Todd Trophy, had joined fellow French side Toulouse in 2021 helping them gain promotion to Super League for the first time in their history.

He even captained the side from the start of their maiden Super League campaign but eventually found himself forced out of the side and eventually out of the club completely.

The Frenchmen then played for his national side at the World Cup in all three of their group games but despite a very busy off-season including shock moves down under for two young English talents and two former Man of Steel winners switching clubs, one moving to the Championship, Gigot still remains without a club.

So where could Gigot find himself playing in 2023?

A return to a home town club is always a fan favourite and prior to signing with Toulouse midway through 2021, Gigot was already playing for his home town Avignon in what was his third spell for them which suggests he’s more than happy to make the switch back given that he’s already done it before.

A return closer to Super League could still be on the cards, with Super League itself being a potential landing spot for the Frenchman with Wakefield Trinity being a potential destination given their lack of depth in the string pulling positions following the departure of Jacob Miller, and youngster Morgan Smith from Featherstone being the only signing to address that depth.

Smith’s former club Featherstone Rovers could be a potential landing spot themselves however money could be an issue given their huge recruitment drive so far this year. Rovers have signed French pair Mathieu Cozza and Thomas Lacans along with a host of other names but the key tie could be their new head coach, Sean Long, who worked with the French national team at the World Cup and across the past year so maybe the former Super League player could tempt Gigot to play in a star studded Championship.

This week we’ve also seen former Super League stalwart Brett Ferres drop down to League One Doncaster in a shock move but perhaps the money for a player of Gigot’s calibre who is still at an age where he can play to a high level would be too much for teams in the third tier.

Another Championship side who could make a play and try to replicate their brilliant 2022 season would be Batley Bulldogs. Whilst position for position Gigot wouldn’t replace Leeds Rhinos’ new man Luke Hooley who departed the Bulldogs, he would bring a kicking game and playmaking abilities that could take a side who went to the Million Pound Game over the top and into the Super League. Announced earlier this week that Batley would cap admission to just £10 per game and potentially run at a £30,000 loss according to their chairman then maybe a high profile signing could be a money spinner on the gate, in the same vein as Keighley Cougars acquiring Luke Gale.

Lastly would a return to Catalans Dragons be completely off the table? The side were quick to wish their former talisman a Happy Birthday message yesterday and with new signing Romain Navarrete having hinted at new signings arriving as reported here, a return could be on the cards.

Whilst there might not be an option at the very top table with the likes of St Helens and Wigan Warriors, there will be plenty of teams keeping their eyes on Gigot with the veteran player still having plenty left in his legs.

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