Catalan Dragons have signed signed Newcastle Knights back rower Zeb Taia on a three-year contract.

New Zealand-born Taia, 27, who played for the Kiwis in 2010, is the Dragons' first recruit for 2013 and will be a straight replacement for Setaimata Sa, who is joining London Irish.

He made his NRL debut in 2006 with Parramatta before joining the Knights, where Catalan coach Trent Robinson was on the backroom staff.

"I have heard wonderful things about Perpignan and the Catalans Dragon," he said.

"My wife Nikki and I are looking forward to the challenge and whatever lies ahead.

"The decision was easy in the end to join Catalans Dragons because of my time spent under Trent Robinson at the Knights when he was assistant to Brian Smith. I'm really looking forward to linking up with Robbo again.

"Hopefully I can establish myself as one of Super League's good back rowers and achieve some goals in France by winning a Challenge Cup trophy and a Super League title."

Robinson said: "Zeb is a player that I have enjoyed working with and continued to enjoy watching play.

"His style is aggressive which is attractive for the Catalans Dragons."