JOSH Drinkwater hopes to create history for two reasons – taking Super League’s title to France and sending James Maloney out a winner.
Catalans will go one step towards glory if they beat St Helens today as it will secure the League Leaders’ Shield for finishing top of the table.
But everyone’s eyes in Perpignan are on the Grand Final and half-back Drinkwater wants to go all the way for the man he grew up watching on New South Wales’ Central Coast.
He said: “We’re from the same area in Australia. James is a fair bit older than me so I grew up watching him play and cheering him on.
“To have the opportunity to play and train alongside him for the last couple of years has been great. He’s a great character, a great bloke to have around. Hopefully we can send him out a winner.”
Catalans’ success would be huge for the sport in France, who may soon have a second Super League team as Toulouse top the Championship.
But boss Steve McNamara is putting sentiment – and the League Leaders’ Shield – to one side. He wants to beat the ‘benchmark,’ insisting: “It’s about winning the Grand Final ultimately. That’s what every club is aiming for.
“I feel we deserve to be where we’re at now based on what we’ve done so far this season. Whether we deserve to be league leaders or win the Grand Final will be determined by what we do next.
“Saints have been the benchmark for four seasons now. Talk about where we’re at, they’ve done it as a club for more than 100 years. We’ve got the most difficult game of the season on our biggest occasion.”
Catalans will face a fired-up England prop in Alex Walmsley today and not just because of the top of the table permutations.
He revealed: “I’m a Newcastle fan for my sins, I was a big Alan Shearer fan.
“It goes back to the first game I remember watching, Newcastle v Leicester in 1997. Newcastle won late on with an Alan Shearer hat-trick. I turned black and white!”
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