This morning, Catalans Dragons confirmed that former NRL star Dylan Napa would be leaving the club effective immediately.
They released the following statement:
“Catalans Dragons can confirm that Dylan Napa has been released from his contract, for the forthcoming 2023 season, by mutual consent.
“Everyone at the club would like to thank him for his contribution and wish him all the best for the future.”
But this sheds very little light on what comes next for the prop.
Napa has definite quality. When he signed for the Dragons from the Canterbury Bulldogs he, alongside the arrival of Tyrone May from the Penrith Panthers, was seen as the next step in the Dragons’ evolution.
After winning the League Leaders’ Shield in 2021 and playing in an inaugural Grand Final, the Dragons were tipped by some to go one better in 2022 however a card shown on his debut would foreshadow a difficult time at the Dragons.
He, like Warrington Wolves bound halfback Josh Drinkwater, was told he could find a new club for 2023 but has yet to do so.
Wakefield Trinity were reportedly interested but this died down. A move to the Elite One Championship, like that made by James Maloney, Corey Norman and former Wigan Warriors and Salford Red Devils star Morgan Escare could be on the cards but there is one Super League club who would make the ideal home for Napa.
The Leigh Leopards have already made some major signings for 2023. However, they hit a stumbling block when they were left with eight overseas players one over the permitted quota. They did not want to allow any of them to leave the club either.
This perhaps was part of the reason why they let Nene MacDonald go to Leeds Rhinos however this was soon followed by the loss of Blake Ferguson on compassionate grounds leaving them with a quota spot and sizeable cap space.
The Leopards could use this on a replacement for these two but already have ample backs with Zak Hardaker, Tom Briscoe and Ricky Leutele all joining for 2023 with the likes of Ed Chamberlain and Josh Charnley already at the club.
Thus, a better use of this quota spot could be the signing of Napa.
Owner Derek Beaumont previously said that they were still interested in bringing in a middle forward and now a former NRL winner has become available.
Therefore, it could be a match made in heaven.
As for where Napa will truly end up, that remains unclear but the Leopards are now in a position where they can approach him.
If they don’t it seems his time in Super League is over with most clubs already using up their quotas.