Match Preview | Knights vs Toulouse Olympique
The Knights kick off our 2021 Betfred Championship season against promotion rivals Toulouse Olympique on Saturday afternoon (3rd April, 4:30pm kick off) and will be keen to start the campaign with a bang.
After two victories in the Betfred Challenge Cup over Sheffield Eagles and London Broncos in rounds one and two respectively, James Ford’s team enter the match in good form but with room to improve.
Adam Cuthbertson started his Knights career last weekend with a fine debut performance from the interchange bench, providing the assist for Joe Porter’s try and winning both the Our League and Knights’ Fans’ Man of the Match awards, and will be keen to continue in the same vein against the French outfit.
One player Cuthbertson could come up against is fellow former Leeds Rhinos teammate Mitch Garbutt, a man who signed for Toulouse ahead of 2021.
Matty Marsh, starring at half-back in the team’s last two outings, could be set to revert to the full-back spot he has regularly occupied for the Knights since joining as Warrington loanee Riley Dean comes into contention. The rules of his loan deal precluded him from selection in the Challenge Cup ties but, after training with the club in recent weeks, will be champing at the bit to get into some action this weekend.
Will Jubb is likely to start again at hooker for the Knights with fellow hooker Kriss Brining likely to be absent through injury as he recovers from a hamstring issue which saw him exit the match against Sheffield Eagles a fortnight ago. On the flanks, Ben Jones-Bishop could return to the team after missing out against London and could line up on the opposite flank to Kieran Dixon. After playing at full-back against his former club last weekend, the 28-year-old could return to the wing berth he occupied to great effect against Sheffield Eagles.
Toulouse’s much-fancied squad will see many players who Knights fans will recognise from previous encounters against the Frenchmen in recent years. Highly rated full-back Mark Kheirallah and half-back Johnathon Ford will see themselves in the midst of the action with much of Toulouse’s good work involving either – or both – of them.
In the pack, off-season recruit Remi Casty brings considerable experience to the club after starring for Catalans for many years, lifting the Challenge Cup title with them in 2018, and the likes of Joseph Paulo and Dominique Peyroux have joined Sylvain Houles’ team after helping St Helens to back-to-back Super League Grand Final victories.
Saturday’s match will be shown LIVE on Our League. Season ticket holders will be able to watch the match with the codes they were provided with prior to our pre-season friendly against Hull FC. Fans wishing to purchase a Live Stream Pass can do so for £4.95 ahead of Gameday when the price will rise to £10 – so don’t hesitate to get yours today from this link.