Wakefield Wildcats sign France prop Simon for new campaign

Mickael Simon
Mickael Simon
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FRENCH PROP Mickael Simon has become Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ second signing for 2015.

The Catalan Dragons front-rower will link-up with Wildcats on a two-year deal, beginning at the start of pre-season training in November.

Simon, 27, was a member of the France squad which reached the quarter-finals of last year’s World Cup under former Wakefield boss Richard Agar, whose assistant was the club’s current coach James Webster.

Simon – who is 6ft 2ins tall and weighs more than 16 stone – has made 65 Super League appearances for Catalan, including 14 this season, since his debut in 2010.

“I need a new challenge and I want to play as many games as possible for Wakefield,” said Simon, who has 15 Test caps.

“I hope I can settle quickly in the team and the culture of the country.

“James is a very good coach and I enjoyed working with him at the World Cup.

“The start he has had as head coach is great for the club, the players and for James. I know I will progress with the help of James and the other coaching staff.

“Hopefully I can bring my enthusiasm to the team and just do my job as a prop.”

Webster – whose side are away to Catalan on Saturday – believes Simon will be a key member of his pack next term.

“Mickael is a big, strong ball carrier with a good engine and he will be able to play big minutes for us in the middle of the field,” Webster predicted.

“I know him well from my time with France at the World Cup and he has a very good knowledge of the game and will add something to the two props we’ve already secured for next year in Scott Anderson and Nick Scruton.”

Hull KR centre Craig Hall became Wildcats’ first signing for 2015 when he penned a two-year deal earlier this month.

Meanwhile Dragons coach Laurent Frayssinous took some positives from his side’s second-half display in the 37-16 defeat at home to Wigan Warriors on Saturday evening.

The Dragons lost two players to the sin-bin in an ill-disciplined display but overall he thought it was a disappointing and frustrating evening.

“Even with 11 men, we still only lost the second half 13-6 which is not bad.

“I told the boys that they had a dig and worked pretty hard but we lacked some composure and some patience with the ball and defensively our principles let us down, especially at the end of the first half,” he said. “It’s pretty frustrating to get the result we did tonight after the performances we have put out on the field over the last few weeks.

“There was an element of ill-discipline from our part given the penalty count against us.

“We spoke about wanting to be aggressive but there is a line that you can’t cross, unfortunately we crossed that tonight.”

Salford Red Devils all but secured their top flight status with a 35-22 win over Hull.

But Salford coach Iestyn Harris accused his players of taking short-cuts after they almost let slip a winning position.

The Red Devils produced a tough defensive stint and ran in tries through Rangi Chase and home debutants Mason Caton-Brown and Josh Griffin to lead 19-0 after 50 minutes but failed to press home their advantage as Hull recovered from the sin-binning of Jordan Rankin to score four tries in the last 25 minutes.

“I’m delighted with the win,” Harris said. “We’re building a reputation here as a physical team that is prepared to work for each other and I thought for 50 minutes we improved that.

“But the last 30 minutes wasn’t good enough for us. We fell in love with ourselves a little bit and started to cut a few corners, which is not acceptable. We’ve lost an opportunity here.”

TIGERS' FEAT: Castleford Tigers celebrate after beating Wakefield and securing top spot in the top flight for the first time in the club's 91-year senior history. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Castleford Tigers 45 Wakefield Trinity 20: Tigers secure top spot for first time in club’s 91-year history