15th February 2019, 11:18
Match Preview: Hornets vs Toulouse
Rochdale Hornets will be looking to gain their first points of 2019 when they travel to the south of France to face Toulouse.
Rochdale kicked off their 2019 season last week against promotion contenders Toronto Wolfpack but came out on the wrong end of a 56-6 scoreline.
Meanwhile, Toulouse have gotten their season off to a poor start having lost their opening game to Leigh Centurions and losing against the Widnes Vikings 36-24 in their own back yard.
Both sides have had mixed results against each other in recent years most notably when the Horents defeated Toulouse in the 2016 League One play off final to secure promotion back to the Championship.
The two sides met back in June at the Crown Oil Arena in round 18 of the Betfred Championship with Sylvain Houles's side picking up a 70-14 win with Jack Fox and Lewis Hatton picking up the points for Rochdale.
Hornets head coach Carl Forster is happy with how training has gone this week and hopes they can put it into action when they travel over the channel.
“Training has gone well this week, we have addressed what went wrong and look to put it right this week,” said Forster.
“Unfortunately Ben Morris is out with a broken wrist for up to six weeks and Liam Carberry is out for a week or two.
“We need to just tighten up out try line defence and around the ruck area. If we can sort those things out then we give ourselves a good chance.”
Mark Kheirallah - A key playmaker in the Toulouse lineup, Kheirallah represented France at the 2017 World Cup scoring a fantasic try againt Australia. He has been part of the set up at Toulouse for a number of season's and the fullbacks speed and agility will be something to watch out for in 2019.
Johnathon Ford - The spine of the Toulouse attack, 2018 was a brillaint year for Ford who was linked with numerous Super League clubs following his performance in the qualifiers. His strength helps in both attack and defence and is essential part of getting Toulouse upfield.
William Barthau - A former London Broncos player, Barthau represented France when they faced England in an end of season test in 2016 and is the ideal partner to Johnathon Ford. At 29 year's of age he is in his prime and has plenty of championship experience on his CV that will help Olympique during their push for promotion.
Last Meeting: Rochdale Hornets 14 – Toulouse Olympique 70
Form: Hornets (L/W/W/L/L/L) Toulouse (L/L/L/W/L/L)
Toulouse 19 man Squad:
Mark Kheirallah, Tony Maural, Bastien Ader, Gavin Marguerite, Johnathon Ford, Anthony Marion, Joe Bretherton, Constantine Mika, Rhys Curran, Dean Parata, Ben Evans, Tyla Hepi, Clement Boyer, Ilias Bergal, Jordan Dezara, Justin Sangare, Brenden Santi, William Barthau.