Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
The Catalans Dragons are arguably coming off of their greatest season in club history, winning the League Leaders Shield for finishing at the top of the competition table and appearing in their first-ever Super League Grand Final, where they would go down to St Helens 12-10 in a thrilling contest.
A lot of the success the club has had can be put down to the leadership and skill of veteran James Maloney, who retired from professional Rugby League after the Super League Grand Final but will play on next season in the French Elite One competition with Lezignan.
Maloney’s success in the south of France have Catalans scrambling to get their hands on another NRL tenured half in the hopes that they can replicate his success.
News Corp is reporting that Mitchell Pearce is set to be offered a three-year deal worth $1.8 million by the Dragons, which would be one of the most lucrative deals in Super League history.
“Pearce is signed to Newcastle until the end of next season after the club gave him a one-year extension in March,” stated a corresponding report from Fox Sports.
– Super League club chases Pearce 👀
– Tigers chairman lifts lid on Leilua contract situation 🤔
— Fox League (@FOXNRL) October 21, 2021
“News Corp reports Pearce is yet to discuss the offer with the Knights, however, the club is aware of Catalans’ interest in their star No.7 after some “robust conversations.”
“However, Newcastle won’t release him unless they can secure an adequate replacement.
“The plan is to shift superstar fullback Kalyn Ponga to the halves but that move isn’t expected to happen until 2023.
“Pearce has played over 300 NRL games and has represented New South Wales, however, given his age, it’s unlikely he’ll be offered a new deal in Australia beyond his current one.”
Currently, the only way Newcastle will be able to secure a replacement that is in any way comparable to Pearce, and it’s a stretch, is if they were to sign Corey Norman, who has also been linked with a move to Catalans earlier this year.
Norman would be far from a like for like replacement, but would be the best half that the Knights could get their hands on who is currently available.