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22 February 2019

Swinton Lions return to Heywood Road this Sunday to host French-outfit Toulouse Olympique in round four of the Championship.

The Lions host Toulouse Olympique in round four of the Betfred Championship at Heywood Road.

Swinton Lions travelled to the Tetley’s Stadium to face Dewsbury Rams in round three, but fell short despite five tries for the side.

Stuart Littler’s side return to Heywood Road on the continued 2019 Championship journey.


The Lions faced Lee Greenwood’s Dewsbury Rams last weekend, with tries from Rob Fairclough, Kyle Shelford, Rhodri Lloyd, Lewis Hatton and Mike Butt.

However, despite the efforts from the attack, Swinton fell short 38-24 and continue to push for their first win of the season.

Six tries for the Rams and seven conversions, including a penalty kick from Paul Sykes, saw Dewsbury claim the two league points.

Toulouse claimed a 42-12 victory over Rochdale Hornets in the South of France, their first win of the season, having previously lost to Leigh Centurions and Widnes Vikings.

Sylvain Houles has added strength to his side during the pre-season, including Scotland international and NRL import James Bell. Former Wigan Warrior Joe Bretherton also joined the side permanently for 2019, having also previously appeared for the Lions on dual-registration.


The Lions last defeated Toulouse in 2017, with a hat-trick from former player Connor Dwyer and another from Andy Thornley securing the 27-20 result.

Star-man Chris Atkin kicked seven goals and added a penalty-goal for a seven-point victory with an attendance of 601.

Last season, the two side’s clashed twice during the season, with both victories going towards the French outfit 46-16 at Stade Ernest Argeles and 62-8 at Heywood Road in front of a crowd of over 2,000.


Head Coach Stuart Littler spoke to the media to discuss the return to Heywood Road against a strong outfit in Toulouse.

“Last week we didn’t start well at all. Fair play to our backs, I thought they ran hard early on but I thought we got rolled first twenty-minutes of the game. We fought all the way back into the game and then skills costed us. Skill and letting people off. It’s pivotal moments that are changing games. We need to be more ruthless and stop inviting them and letting them off with a penalty or an error. I thought every time we played shape well we caused trouble and opened them up.

“When we played and nailed our skill and got to the right positions we were a threat. We know that and see it in our play week after week. It’s being ruthless and tough and starting a game well.

“It doesn’t get any easier with the full-time team of Toulouse coming. It’s a big game for the club. It’s where we want to be playing. Last year we fought for our lives to stay in this league and I want to be here in this league. The club wants to be here in this league and we’ve got to move forward and we need to pick up some wins.”


Ollie Partington is drafted in alongside Liam Forsyth, Liam Paisley and Chris Hankinson on dual-registration from Wigan Warriors.

Ben Austin is sidelined following surgery on a neck injury and could face up to six months on the sideline whilst recovering.

Swinton Lions to face Toulouse Olympique: Matty Ashton, Gavin Bennion, Billy Brickhill, Mike Butt, Rob Fairclough, Liam Forsyth, Aaron Hall, Chris Hankinson, Frankie Halton, Jack Hansen, Lewis Hatton, Adam Jones, Paddy Jones, Rhodri Lloyd, Liam Paisley, Oliver Partington, Kyle Shelford, Harry Smith, Luke Waterworth.

Toulouse Olympique to face Swinton Lions: Mark Kheirallah, Bastien Ader, Gavin Marguerite, Johnathon Ford, Stanislas Robin, Anthony Marion, Joe Bretherton, Constantine Mika, Rhys Curran, Dean Parata, Ben Evans, Tyla Hepi, Clement Boyer, Jordan Dezaria, Justin Sangare, Brenden Santi, William Barthau, Arthur Romano, Mathieu Jussaume.



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