2 days ago
The following statement has been released from the Chairman and Board of Swinton Lions RLFC.
13 June 2019
Swinton Lions travel to Toulouse for round 17 of the Betfred Championship. Here’s the latest preview…
The Lions travel to the South of France to face in-form Toulouse Olympique in round 17 of the Betfred Championship on Saturday.
Toulouse are currently the second-best outfit in the competition, a place behind table-toppers Toronto Wolfpack, whilst Swinton sit just above the relegation zone in 12th place.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the fixture…
Stuart Littler’s side most recently faced Toronto Wolfpack at Heywood Road in front of the Sky cameras, with the young side displaying a gutsy performance against the full-time team.
Brian McDermott’s side claimed the league-points after a 34-14 victory, but the Lions exhibited a proud performance. Rob Fairclough crossed for a four-pointer and claimed the Our League Man of the Match with 43% of the votes, whilst Mike Butt scored a double on his 100th appearance for Swinton.
Richard Lepori also made his Swinton debut after penning a deal with the club until the end of the season, whilst Samy Kibula also featured from Wigan Warriors.
Swinton were recently knocked out of the 1895 Cup by Dewsbury Rams, but not before claiming their first back-to-back league victories in three years, with defeats over Rochdale Hornets and Dewsbury to climb the league table.
Toulouse currently sit second in the Betfred Championship table with 12 wins in 16, and most recently claimed two-points in a close contest against York City Knights.
Sylvain Houles’s side were made to fight until the last minute with a 25-18 victory at Bootham Crescent, with tries from Mathieu Jussaume, James Bell and Paul Marcon.
The side have lost just once in their last six fixtures, and will face Swinton at State Ernest Argelès this Saturday.
Just two-points separated the sides when they last met in round four of the Championship.
Toulouse took a 18-12 lead into halftime, and then added another not long after the restart before halfback Rob Fairclough crossed for his own try.
Despite a late Liam Forsyth try seven-minutes from full-time, the visitors claimed a 26-24 victory thanks to a penalty goal in the 70th minute from fullback Mark Kheirallah.
Toulouse have won four of the last five meetings between the two sides, whilst Swinton’s last victory came in 2017 with a 27-20 success thanks to a hat-trick of tries from Connor Dwyer and another from Andy Thornley, whilst Chris Atkin also kicked five goals and a drop-goal.
Richard Lepori keeps his place in the 19-man squad following his strong debut, whilst Frankie Halton returns after missing the last two weeks.
LIONS SQUAD TO FACE TOULOUSE: Ashton, Bennion, Brickhill, Butt, Fairclough, Halton, Hansen, Hatton, A.Jones, P.Jones, Kenga, Kibula, Lepori, Lloyd, Pailsry, Shelford, Wells, Waterworth.
TOULOUSE SQUAD TO FACE LIONS: Maurel, Marcon, Ford, Robin, Puech, Marion, Mika, Parata, Evans, Hepi, Vaivai, Boyer, Bell, Dezaria, Santi, Sangeré, Jussaume, Barthau, Lima.