Merseyside Rugby League eyes will be on Matt Whitley and his Catalan Dragon teammates this weekend, as they eye up a Grand Final triumph over Wigan Warriors. Finishing first and second on 40 points each in the Super League season, Warriors trumped the French outfit on point difference. A win for Whitley and his teammates would be mean a first Grand Final victory.
The game under the Old Trafford lights will be a last chance of glory for Whitley in Catalan colours, as he announced last month this will be his last season playing for the Perpignan side.
The 27-year-old back-rower is keen to continue his Super League career back in England. Boss Steve McNamara says they would love to keep him but, “ultimately he he’s got family to think about.”
The Billinge born player joined The Dragons in 2019, after a 3-year stint at Widnes Vikings, where he was branded a ‘teenage star’ in 2015. He has since scored 35 tries in 102 Super League appearances for the French heavyweights.
One memorable career game was the 2021 Grand Final 10-12 loss against St. Helens, the game which saw owner Bernard Guasch fined £10,000 for hitting out at the refereeing. Whitley played the full 80 minutes but couldn’t inspire his team to success.
With a host of Super League clubs queuing up for his services, he is expected to join The Saints. A move to the Totally Wicked Stadium suits him and his family,
Overcoming The Warriors will be no easy task, but the chance to banish the ghosts of 2021 is a big incentive, especially for Whitley, in his last appearance in The Dragons colours.