Catalans Dragons host the Salford Red Devils as they look to consolidate their position in the top eight. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the clash.
Steve McNamara has made just one change to his squad following last week’s 22-22 draw against Warrington Wolves. Jodie Broughton has recovered from injury and replaces Mickael Goudemand as the only change in the squad, as the Dragons look to build on their mid-season revival.
Catalans 19-man squad: Mead, Broughton, Wiliame, Yaha, Langi, Casty, Moa, Anderson, Garcia, Bird, Bousquet, Simon, Baitieri, Mcilorum, Tierney, Jullien, Gigot, Drinkwater, Edwards.
Ian Watson welcomes fullback Niall Evalds back into his 19-man squad after a nine-week spell on the sidelines as Luke Burgess drops out with a knee injury.
Craig Kopczak is named in the squad yet remains a doubt with a quadricep injury, leaving the door open for Levy Nzoungou and Ben Nakubuwai to continue their run in the side.
Salford 19-man squad: Sa’u, Evalds, Lui, Kopczak, Jones, Flanagan, Tasi, Lannon, McCarthy, Nakubuwai, Wood, Olpherts, Mossop, Bibby, Nzoungou, Murray, Shorrocks, Chamberlain, Burke.
HEAD TO HEAD
Meeting earlier this year at the Dacia Magic Weekend, a Jodie Broughton hat-trick lifted the Dragons off the bottom of the Super League table and launched their charge for the playoffs.
The Dragons also boast the better record over the last six meetings claiming four wins in that time, however in scoring terms, Salford match their French counterparts with 23 tries apiece.
The real boost for Catalans comes in terms of their recent form, as Steve McNamara has led his team to four wins and a draw in their previous six games, Whereas Ian Watson’s men have claimed just one win in the same space of time.
KEY BATTLE- Josh Drinkwater v Robert Lui
Josh Drinkwater’s mid-season arrival in France coincided with the Dragons boost in form which is no coincidence. Hailed as a possible signing for the season, Drinkwater has registered 6 tries and 13 try assists in just ten games.
While Tony Gigot often grabs the headlines as the superstar, Drinkwater is the conductor behind the final product. Similarly, Lui offers the Red Devils a foundation to play off, registering seven assists.
While Salford at times lack the x-factor that a player such as Gigot provides, the return of Niall Evalds and the arrival of Jackson Hastings could see Lui’s influence grow even more.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Saturday 21st July.
Venue: Stade Gilbert Brutus Stadium
Referee: S. Mikalauskas
WHO WILL WIN?