9th September 2015, 15:12 |
Catalans Dragons have announced the signing of Australian forward Glenn Stewart on a three-year contract from the start of next season.
The French club completed their move for the 31-year-old second rower after he secured a release from the final year of his contract with South Sydney.
"I'm very excited about the opportunity to play in the Super League with a great club like Catalans Dragons," said Stewart, a State of Origin player who won five caps for the Kangaroos from 2008-10.
"I'm really looking forward to this new challenge and I hope to win some titles with the Dragons.
"The time is right for my family and me to experience something new in another country. It is a great place to live and I am looking forward to being part of the French lifestyle."
Stewart, who was named Dally M second rower of the year in 2011, joined Souths on a two-year deal at the start of the season after spending 12 years at Manly and made his debut in their 39-0 win over St Helens in the 2015 World Club Challenge at Langtree Park in February.
He won the Clive Churchill Medal as man of the match in Manly's 2011 Grand Final win over New Zealand Warriors and has so far made 202 NRL appearances.
Catalans head coach Laurent Frayssinous said: "I'm delighted that Glenn has chosen to join us from next season.
"We were looking for an experienced player to complete our pack for next season and it's a great news for the club that we were able to attract a player of Glenn's calibre.
"He will bring his qualities in attack and defence. He will also bring his experience at the very top level to the club along with his leadership skills. He is a true competitor who competes for victory every time he steps on the field."
The Dragons had already added Dave Taylor (Gold Coast Titans) and Justin Horo (Manly) to their pack for next season but needed to plug another gap after losing Elliott Whitehead, Benjamin Garcia and Zeb Taia to the NRL.
Dragons chief executive Christophe Jouffret said: "The ambitions of a club can be measured by the quality of recruitment of players.
"Our earlier announcements of quality players shows our ambitions while today's announcement of Glenn Stewart demonstrates our desire to build a strong and experienced squad to achieve our goals.
Glenn Stewart will add quality to our squad. We are already looking forward the 2016 Super League season."
The Perpignan club have also been linked with Castleford Tigers winger Justin Carney and Salford Red Devils stand-off Rangi Chase, who are both suspended by their clubs, but Jouffret dismissed the speculation.
"Carney is a good, tough player but we haven't a quota spot and we are covered at half-back with Richard Myler joining us next year, alongside Todd Carney and Thomas Bosc," he said.