Benjamin Garcia: Penrith to sign Catalans Dragons back-rower

Benjamin Garcia
Garcia has scored nine tries in 34 Super League games for the Catalans

Catalans Dragons back-rower Benjamin Garcia is to join Penrith Panthers for the 2016 National Rugby League season.

France international Garcia, 22, spent time with Brisbane Broncos feeder club Wynnum-Manly Seagulls before moving to the Dragons in 2013.

He has nine tries in 34 Super League games for the French club, and operated in both the back-row and centres.

"To go back to Australia and play in the NRL has always been an ambition for me," Garcia said.

"I had the opportunity this year with Penrith and I wanted to grab it with both hands."

Panthers executive general manager Phil Gould added: "Benjamin's form has been outstanding for the Catalans Dragons and he attracted tremendous attention from a number of Super League clubs looking for his signature.

"He has a burning desire to make it in the NRL and we are extremely happy he has chosen Panthers as the place to pursue that opportunity. This kid can play."

Meanwhile, Catalans have allowed France international centre Mathias Pala to join Championship club Leigh Centurions on an 18-month contract with immediate effect.

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