The Catalans Dragons (French: Dragons Catalans, Catalan: Dracs Catalans) are a professional rugby league club from Perpignan, Pyrénées-Orientales department, France. Despite being based in France the club competes in Super League, the top tier of British rugby league

Catalans Dragons
Club information
Full nameCatalans Dragons XIII
Nickname(s)The Dragons
Short nameCatalans Dragons
ColoursWhite, Red and Gold
Founded2000; 24 years ago (2000)
WebsiteOfficial website
Current details
ChairmanBernard Guasch
CoachSteve McNamara
CaptainBenjamin Garcia
CompetitionSuper League
2023 seasonRegular Season: 2nd
Play Offs; Final: (lost 2-10 vs Wigan Warriors)
Current season
Home colours
Away colours
French Championships1 (2004–05)
British Championships0
League Leaders' Shields1 (2021)
Challenge Cups1 (2018)
Other honours6

Formed after the merger of XIII Catalan and AS Saint-Estève, they have won one French Championship and two Lord Derby Cups. In Britain they have never won the League Championship but have won the Challenge Cup once.

Catalans play home games at Stade Gilbert Brutus. Their traditional home colours are white red and gold.



2000–2005: Formation in Elite 1


The club was founded in 2000 after the merger of two teams in the area of Perpignan, XIII Catalan and AS Saint-Estève. The merged team took the name Union Treiziste Catalane, often abbreviated to UTC.

XIII Catalan were founded in 1935 and thus were founding members of the French Championship. During their run, they won 11 French Championships and 11 Lord Derby Cups. AS Saint-Estève were founded in 1965. They won six championships and four Lord Derby Cups. There were two other clubs in the twelve-team competition in Pyrénées-Orientales: Pia XIII and Saint-Cyprien. In 2002 Saint-Cyprien joined the merged UTC side. UTC won the 2005 French Championship and the 2004 and 2005 Lord Derby Cups.

2006–2007: Transfer to Super League and Challenge Cup final

Catalans Dragons logo used in 2006 and 2007.

In 2006, UTC transferred from the French to British rugby league system, joining the Super League XI following a successful application in 2005. They were selected ahead of Toulouse Olympique and Villeneuve Leopards. The club was named Catalans Dragons, while a new club, Saint-Estève XIII Catalan, was formed in the French Championship to serve as a reserve team for the club. The club set a target for 75% of the players be qualified to play for France.

The Catalans are the second French side to play in the Super League. The first, Paris Saint-Germain, lasted only two seasons. Both rugby codes have their stronghold in the southwest of France, with the north favouring association football.

To ensure that the Catalans had the best French players available to them, the French rugby league decided to let them sign players from other French clubs without paying a transfer fee. The RFL also made them exempt from relegation for their first three years in Super League.

Many[who?] at the time believe the Catalans would be joined by other French clubs,[citation needed] but the idea of expanding into France had critics.[who?]

The Catalans won their first ever Super League match 38–30 against Wigan on 11 February 2006, at Stade Aimé Giral. The club encountered difficulties in their first season in the Super League. Many of less experienced French players suffered from tiredness towards the end of an injury-marred campaign. A particular loss included captain Stacey Jones, who missed much of the season with a broken arm. The team finished bottom of the table, but the three-year exemption from relegation kept them in the Super League.

Catalans Dragons during their first Challenge Cup Final in 2007 at Wembley Stadium.

The year 2007 saw a strong recruitment by new coach Mick Potter with a string of high-profile signings from Australia, including Clint Greenshields, Casey McGuire, Jason Croker and Aaron Gorrell, all seasoned NRL campaigners. Gorrell, a goalkicking hooker, impressed in the first month but sustained a bad knee injury in February's win over Leeds and missed the rest of the season. On 10 March 2007, it was announced that Newcastle Knights hooker Luke Quigley would cover Gorrell's absence for the remainder of the campaign, but a number of players sustained injuries throughout the campaign.

On 29 July 2007, the Catalans became the first French side and first non-British side to reach the final of the Challenge Cup after beating Wigan 37–24 in the semi-final. The Catalans lost the 2007 Challenge Cup Final against St. Helens at Wembley Stadium on 25 August 2007. They finish the 2007 season in tenth place.

2008–2017: Improvement in league results

Catalans Dragons playing at Gilbert Brutus in 2009

In 2008, the Catalans secured their first playoff berth by finishing third in the league. They thrashed Warrington 46–8 in their first-ever playoff match on 13 September in Perpignan, but 20 September saw Wigan end up victorious in what had been a close game in the second half of their elimination final, with Wigan winning 50–26.

Coach Mick Potter left the Dragons at the end of the 2008 season to replace Daniel Anderson at St Helens.

In 2009, they were involved in two historic milestones for the sport of rugby league in Europe. During their match away to the Welsh club Crusaders on 23 May, the two clubs played the first Super League match to not feature an English team.[1] History was also created on 20 June, when the club played in the first Super League game to be played in Spain, at Barcelona's Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys, the venue for the 1992 Summer Olympics, against Warrington. The Dragons led 10–6 at halftime, but Warrington finished as the winners 12–24.[2] The purpose of the latter fixture was to promote the sport in Catalonia, with around 1000 tickets being sold in the local area, and the game was televised on the Catalan channel El 33.[3] Immediately after the game, Walters commented that the event in Spain could become an annual one,[2] apparently complementing comments made by the club's general manager about using a new high-speed link between Perpignan and Spain, supposed to start running within two years.[3]

Catalans Dragons supporters during a home game against Wigan Warriors in 2011

In 2016 Catalans Dragons celebrated ten years in the Super League competition. After a recruitment drive, which saw a number of transfers from the NRL, expectations were high. After opening defeats to Wigan and Hull FC, the Dragons edged Leeds 32–28 in round three and then took seven wins from their next eight matches. Following their 42–32 win over Salford at the end of April, Laurent Frayssinous' side sat second in the table, level on points with leaders Warrington. However, a series of injury setbacks to key players in the second half of the season saw them drop down the table. Catalans lost their final six regular season games which meant they headed into the Super 8s two points adrift of fourth-placed St Helens. Five defeats from seven saw them finish the season in sixth place and miss out on a play-off spot. After a difficult two years at Huddersfield, Jodie Broughton's move to the south of France saw him kick-start his career. The winger scored 19 tries in 2016 including four in the Dragons' 30–12 win over St Helens in April. Todd Carney was released after two seasons at Catalans.[4]

2018–present: Establishment as a top club


On 25 August 2018, Catalans Dragons won their first British Rugby League trophy, after defeating Warrington 20–14 in the 2018 Challenge Cup Final, in the process becoming the first non-English team to win the competition.[5][6]

During the 2019 season, Catalans Dragons held their home match against Wigan at the Camp Nou in Barcelona. The match was the first Super League game in Spain and attracted a record attendance for a Super League game, outside of the Grand Final or Magic Weekend, of 31,555. The game resulted in a 33–16 victory for the Dragons.[7]

On 28 January 2020, Catalans Dragons announced that they had signed Israel Folau despite him holding to the Biblical teaching that those who practice homosexuality without repenting will go to hell (going so far as to suggest that the 2019–20 Australian bushfires were God's judgment on Australia for allowing same sex marriage and abortion).[8] Wigan Warriors responded by saying that their next game against Catalans would be named Pride Day.[9]

In 2021, Catalans won Super League's League Leaders' Shield for the first time, following a 31–30 golden point extra time victory over reigning champions St Helens during Magic Weekend. On 9 October 2021, Catalans played in their first ever Super League Grand Final with the opponents being reigning champions St Helens. Catalans lead the match in the second half but a try late to St Helens saw Catalans lose 12–10.[10] In the 2022 Super League season, Catalans finished 4th on the table and qualified for the playoffs. The club would be eliminated from the playoffs in the first week, suffering a shock 20-10 loss against Leeds.[11]

In the 2023 Super League season, Catalans finished second on the table, equal on points with Wigan who finished first. They would eventually reach the grand final after beating St Helens in the semi-final which ended the clubs four-year dominance of the competition. Catalans would go on to lose the 2023 Super League Grand Final 10-2 against Wigan. Catalans became the first team since the Super League era began in 1996 to not score a try in the final.[12]



Stade Aimé Giral: 2006–2007


The Catalans moved into the stadium in 2006, when they were accepted into Super League. They ground shared with rugby union side USA Perpignan, which own and operate the stadium, but it is a multipurpose stadium used occasionally for other sports and events.

Stade Gilbert Brutus: 2007–present

Stade Gilbert Brutus

The Stade Gilbert Brutus was opened in 1962 and has hosted mostly rugby league and union and hosted numerous test matches involving the France national team. It was previously the home to Northern Catalonia rugby league team. When the Dragons moved in the capacity was just over 4,000.

The Catalans have redeveloped and expanded the ground to 13,000 since they moved here.

Kit sponsors and manufacturers

Year Kit Manufacturer Main Shirt Sponsor
2000–2008 ISC none
2009 Nike IDEC
2010–2011 ISC Seafrance
2012–2018 la Region
2019–2021 O'Neills
2022-2026 Macron

2024 squad

First team squad Coaching staff

Head coach

Assistant coaches

  • (c) Captain(s)
  • (vc) Vice-captain(s)
  • (gk) = Goal kicker

2024 transfers


Players In

Player From Contract Date
  Chris Satae   Hull FC 2 years 31 May 2023[13]
  Theo Fages   Huddersfield Giants 11 August 2023[14]
  Tariq Sims   Melbourne Storm 27 September 2023[15]
  Jayden Nikorima 30 September 2023[16]
  Bayley Sironen   New Zealand Warriors 5 October 2023[17]
  Jordan Abdull   Hull Kingston Rovers 1 year (loan) 5 January 2024[18]

Players Out

Player To Contract Date
  Tiaki Chan   Wigan Warriors 3 years 26 June 2023[19]
  Mickael Goudemand   Leeds Rhinos 2 years 27 June 2023[20]
  Adam Keighran   Wigan Warriors 16 July 2023[21]
  Tyrone May   Hull KR 15 August 2023[22]
  Matt Whitley   St Helens 2 years 18 October 2023[23]

Players Retired

Player Date
  Sam Tomkins 15 October 2023[24]
  Mitchell Pearce 11 September 2023[25]




Name From To P W D L Win %
  Mick Potter 2007 2008 89 41 3 45 46%
  Kevin Walters 2009 2010 57 21 0 36 37%
  Trent Robinson 2011 2012 63 37 1 25 59%
  Laurent Frayssinous 2013 2017 139 66 6 67 47%
  Michael Monaghan (interim) 2017 %
  Steve McNamara 2017 present 110 62 1 47 56%




Catalans celebrating winning the Challenge Cup for the first time in 2018


Grand Final:
Winners (1): 2004–05
Runners-up (2): 2001–02, 2003–04
League Leaders (2): 2003–04, 2004–05
Grand Final:
Runners-up (2): 2021, 2023
League Leaders' Shield:
Winners (1): 2021
Runners-up (1): 2023


Winners (3): 2000–01, 2003–04, 2004–05
Winners (1): 2018
Runners-up (1): 2007


Winners (1): 2017

See also



  1. ^ O'Neill, Matthew. "Super League's First Ever International (with no English)". (The World of Rugby League). Archived from the original on 25 May 2009. Retrieved 20 June 2009.
  2. ^ a b "Catalans Dragons 12–24 Warrington". (BBC Sport). 20 June 2009. Retrieved 20 June 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Dragons pleased with Barcelona ticket sales". (The RFL). Archived from the original on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2009.
  4. ^ Season Review: Catalans Dragons, 3 December 2016
  5. ^ Scott, Ged (25 August 2018). "Challenge Cup final: Catalans beat Warrington 20-14 to win first trophy". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  6. ^ "Catalans Dragons beat Warrington in Challenge Cup final to make history". Guardian. 25 August 2018. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  7. ^ Bower, Aaron (18 May 2019). "Devastating Catalans prove too much for Wigan at enthusiastic Camp Nou". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 July 2020.
  8. ^ "Israel Folau under fire for implying bushfires are God's punishment". Guardian. 18 November 2019. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  9. ^ "Israel Folau: shock and outrage greets Catalans Dragons' signing". Guardian. 28 January 2020. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  10. ^ "Super League Grand Final: Catalans Dragons 10-12 St Helens: Saints win three in a row". BBC Sport.
  11. ^ "Super League play-offs: Catalans Dragons 10-20 Leeds Rhinos - Liam Sutcliffe hat-trick secures win". BBC Sport.
  12. ^ Bower, Aaron (14 October 2023). "Wigan Warriors crowned Super League champions after downing Dragons". The Observer.
  13. ^ "Chris Satae's next Super League destination confirmed after Hull FC exit". 31 May 2023. Retrieved 31 May 2023.
  14. ^ "Theo Fages: Catalans Dragons move confirmed as Huddersfield Giants star targets trophies in France". 11 August 2023. Retrieved 11 August 2023.
  15. ^ "Super League move confirmed for Melbourne Storm back-rower Tariq Sims with length of deal confirmed". 27 September 2023. Retrieved 27 September 2023.
  16. ^ "NRL playmaker Jayden Nikorima makes Super League move following release from Melbourne Storm". 30 September 2023. Retrieved 30 September 2023.
  17. ^ "Dragons snap up Sironen". Retrieved 5 October 2023.
  18. ^ "Jordan Abdull joins the Dragons". 5 January 2024. Retrieved 5 January 2024.
  19. ^ "Wigan Warriors sign Tiaki Chan on 3 year deal". loverugbyleague. 26 June 2023. Retrieved 26 June 2023.
  20. ^ "Mickael Goudemand joins Leeds on 2 year deal". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 June 2023.
  21. ^ "Wigan Warriors sign Adam Keighran on 2 year deal". loverugbyleague. 16 July 2023. Retrieved 16 July 2023.
  22. ^ "Hull KR sign NRL Grand Final winner, Samoa star Tyrone May from 2024: 'Been a player on our radar for a while'". 15 August 2023. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  23. ^ "St Helens make third signing for 2024 in shape of Grand Finalist Matt Whitley from Catalans Dragons". 18 October 2023. Retrieved 18 October 2023.
  24. ^ "Sam Tomkins to retire after 2023 season". loverugbyleague. 15 October 2023. Retrieved 15 October 2023.
  25. ^ "Mitchell Pearce to retire at the end of the Super League season with hopes of creating history". 11 September 2023. Retrieved 11 September 2023.