Having pushed eventual champions St Helens all the way in the 2021 Grand Final, head coach Steve McNamara, who signed a new two-year contract on Tuesday, will be urging his French charges (4/1 to win the regular season) to go one better in the new campaign.
Grand Final winner odds: 11/2
Last season: 1st
Pipped by the finest of margins in Old Trafford’s end-of-season finale, the Dragons will be looking to avenge their 12-10 defeat from the off, visiting the Saints’ Totally Wicked Stadium in the 2022 curtain-raiser on 10th February.
With pre-season limited to just one game – an all-French clash against Toulouse – McNamara’s side will require maximum cohesion and co-operation in order to continue from where they left off.
Mitchell Pearce (Newcastle Knights)
Dylan Napa (Canterbury Bulldogs)
Tyrone May (Penrith Panthers)
Star Man: Mitchell Pearce
When it comes to the leading light in Catalans’ side, it is hard to overlook the new arrival from the Knights, whose shine eclipses even that of last season’s Man of Steel, Sam Tomkins.
The Dragons’ main personnel blow is the loss of James Maloney to French domestic side Lezignan, but with Pearce’s ability and reputation, he should be more than able to fill the void.
The 32-year-old, a former NRL champion with Sydney Roosters, adds big-name quality to the number-six role.
Rising Star: Arthur Mourgue
Mourgue, 22, has grown in stature ever since his making his Super League debut against Castleford in 2018, continually impressing in a first-team jersey and signing a new, improved deal at the end of last season, committing himself to the Dragons until the end of 2023.
Chipping in with six tries across 23 appearances last campaign, the scrum-half forms part of a cluster of promising French youths progressing through the ranks at the club.