Matt Ikuvalu first words after arriving at Catalans Dragons from NRL

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Matt Ikuvalu Cronulla Sharks Catalans PA Credit: Alamy
Matt Ikuvalu Cronulla Sharks Catalans PA Credit: Alamy

Catalans Dragons have confirmed the signing of Australian centre Matt Ikuvalu on a deal for the rest of the season, with an option for 2024.

The 29-year-old has scored 25 tries in 38 NRL appearances with Sydney Roosters and Cronulla Sharks since making his NRL debut in 2018.

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Ikuvalu arrived in the south of France earlier this week, and the Dragons have now confirmed his signing after passing the relevant medicals.

Ikuvalu said: “I’m delighted to join the Dragons.

“I feel great about it all, everyone has been very welcoming so far and I’m excited to play for the club.

“My goals here are the same as they were back home. I want to win a comp and I believe this team can do it.

“I think the big reason to come here was the life experience that my family and I could gain by moving across the world together.

“Learning a new language as well playing with a good team. I’m also looking forward to linking up with old friends like Siosiua Taukeiaho and Adam Keighran.”

Catalans coach Steve McNamara said: “We are very happy to add Matt to our playing group.

“I’ve known Matt since my time at the Roosters and know he will bring real attacking quality and competition for places to our back line.”

Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon said: “This is a great opportunity for Matt and we wish him well.

“He has had injury issues since joining the Sharks however has always been a positive influence around the players and the club and we thank him for his contribution both on and off the field.”

More on Catalans’ newest recruit Matt Ikuvalu

Ikuvalu was born and raised in Sydney, Australia and is Tongan and European heritage.

The 6ft 0in, 100kg outside-back came through the junior ranks at his local club Sydney Roosters.

Ikuvalu had a prolific try scoring record for the Roosters, scoring 25 tries in 38 appearances between 2018-21, racking up 100 points in total for the club.

The Sydney-born back then made the move to fellow NRL club Cronulla Sharks ahead of the 2022 campaign. He has scored four tries in five appearances to date for the Sharks.

Ikuvalu has recently returned to action for Newtown Jets, Cronulla’s feeder club, in the New South Wales Cup following a seven-month injury lay-off.

Ikuvalu will add strength in depth to McNamara’s side, who already have the likes of Tom Davies, Tom Johnstone and Adam Keighran among their ranks.

The Dragons are currently fourth in the Super League table, having won six from their first 10 games of the season.

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