FRENCH FORWARD Mickael Goudemand can boost his World Cup prospects when Dewsbury Rams play host to Toulouse Olympique in the Kingstone Press Championship Shield tomorrow (3pm).
Goudemand joined Dewsbury from Avignon last month.
He played for France against England last autumn and is keen to win more Test caps as well as catch the eye of a Super League club during his spell in England.
“He wants to stake a claim for a place in France’s World Cup squad,” said Rams coach Neil Kelly.
“I would imagine there will be more French eyes on him this week than in our week-to-week games.
“He is doing all right. There was a bit of a gap between the end of the French season and him joining us so he is lacking a bit of match fitness.
“I left him on a bit longer against Rochdale last week than I would have done if it had been a closer scoreline to help him out.
“He is getting there and he is a good footballer.
“Once we get to learn everything he can do he will be a real asset for us.”
Kelly said it is too early to gauge if the 20-year-old has what it takes to build a Super League career.
“I want to see what he can do when he gets to full fitness,” he said. “He is only young and he is still learning the game, but he has got a lot of potential.”
Rams will edge a step closer to Championship survival if they beat Toulouse, who finished fifth in the regular season and are top of the Shield table.
Kelly said: “This is the game we need at the moment.
“We have been playing quite well, but – not taking anything away from the opposition we’ve faced already – we need a really tough game.
“It will help us find out where we are. We know we are a good side, but we need to find out what our next level of improvement is.
“Toulouse will expose areas we need to work on, so we are looking forward to the game.”
Rams beat the French team 34-22 at Tetley’s Stadium in June. Kelly added: “That’s great for our confidence, but they would say they had a few absentees that day. It was nice to beat them, but it will have no bearing on this game.”