Ryles makes the French Connection

St George Illawarra Dragons prop Jason Ryles has signed a three-year deal with French club Les Catalans Dragons.

The 29-year-old's contract with the European Super League club starts in 2009 and is worth a reported $1.7 million.

The NSW and Australian front rower was given permission to negotiate elsewhere earlier this year. As reported yesterday, the Wests Wollongong and Berkeley junior was also given the green light to move on by incoming coach Wayne Bennett.

Ryles debuted for the Dragons NRL side over eight season ago, playing 133 games between 2000-2007. He represented New South Wales (2002-2005) and Australia (2001-2002 & 2004-2005) as well as earning a number of City and Country jerseys between 2001-2005.

St George Illawarra are rumoured to be in line to sign Melbourne Storm second rower Jeremy Smith.