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THE QUALIFIERS MATCH PREVIEW | Toulouse Olympique vs Halifax

Championship Toulouse and Halifax look for their first Qualifiers win. Here’s everything you need to know…

SQUAD NEWS

Toulouse Olympique

Toulouse coach Sylvain Houles makes two changes to his squad following last week’s impressive showing in the 48-22 defeat at Leeds Rhinos.

Eddie Pettybourne suffered a foot injury at Headingley so Sebastien Planas takes his place, while Arthur Romano is included after joining on loan from Catalans Dragons and could make his first appearance for the club, replacing Tony Maurel in the squad.

Toulouse 19-man squad: Kheirallah, Ader, Ford, Robin, Boyer, Marion, Canet, Planas, Puech, Hepi, Rapira, Bouzinac, Marcon, Centrone, Bretherton, Mika, Seguir, Barthau, Romano.

Halifax

Head coach Richard Marshall makes four changes to his side after the 14-0 defeat at home to Toronto Wolfpack last Sunday.

Ed Barber picked up an injury which could keep him out for the season, but there is better news in the return of Simon Grix from a knee injury.

Liam Cooper could make his debut after joining on loan from St Helens, with Dan Fleming and Brandon Douglas also coming into the squad in the places of Will Maher, Sion Jones and Sam Wood.

Halifax 19-man squad: Sharp, Heaton, Tyrer, Saltonstall, Murrell, Johnston, Morris, Kaye, Grady, Grix, Fairbank, Moore, Woodburn-Hall, Butler, Moss, Baldwinson, Fleming, Douglas, Cooper.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

The home sides have come out on top in both meetings this season, with Toulouse winning 38-6 at the Stade Ernest-Argeles in March and Halifax winning the reverse at the MBi Shay 19-14 less than a month ago.

Fax did win on their trip to France in 2017 though, triumphing 16-8.

KEY BATTLE – Bastien Canet vs Chester Butler

On the evidence of last week, and much of the season, Toulouse have more flair and creativity on the ball than their opponents Halifax do, so if the forwards can do the job down the middle then victory will be theirs.

Few in the Championship are bigger and better than Bastien Canet, who has impressed in the last couple of years whether playing in the front or back row.

He will have impressed bigger clubs and so has Chester Butler after a fantastic breakthrough season for Fax, and the Welsh international will need to be at his best if they are to pick up a win in the Qualifiers.

THE IMPORTANT DETAILS

Date: Saturday 18th August
Venue: Stade Ernest-Argeles
Kick-off: 7:00pm UK time (8:00pm local time)
Referee: Scott Mikalauskas

POLL

Which Championship side will pick up their first win of the Qualifiers?

I am a 19-year-old Sports Journalism student at the University of Huddersfield. I cover a lot of rugby league, following Hull FC and Huddersfield Giants and working for Halifax RLFC. If you want to see more of my ramblings on rugby and football then follow me on Twitter @stibbo99.

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