Paul Aiton: Catalans Dragons sign Leeds Rhinos hooker from 2016

Paul Aiton
Paul Aiton has been ever-present for the Rhinos in 2015

Catalans Dragons have confirmed Papua New Guinea international hooker Paul Aiton will join from Leeds Rhinos for the 2016 season on a three-year deal.

Aiton, 30, turned down a contract with the Rhinos, who he joined from Wakefield in 2014, to take up an option with Perpignan-based Dragons.

The former Penrith and Cronulla rake has been ever-present for the Rhinos in 2015, scoring three tries in 26 games.

"I am looking forward to the challenge," said Aiton.

"I will always be honoured to have played for Leeds Rhinos but the opportunity to move to France from next season and be part of the Dragons was something that excited me at this stage in my career."

Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington had said: "It has not come as a surprise because Paul rejected a new three-year contract from us and told us of interest from other clubs some time ago, but it is always disappointing when a player of Paul's standing decides to leave the club."