FRENCH VISITORS Toulouse Olympique know the scale of the task ahead, but will not be intimidated by Leeds Rhinos today, centre/winger Chris Centrone says.
Toulouse finished third in the Betfred Championship and are making their debut in the Super-8s Qualifiers.
It is their first visit to Emerald Headingley and Centrone admitted they are facing a big step up in class, but he insisted Toulouse will relish the opportunity to measure themselves against one of the biggest clubs in the sport.
“They are the champions from last year, they’ve got top quality players and it will be a real test for us,” Centrone, an Australian-born Italy international signed from Wyong Roos in May, told Toulouse’s website.
“The level in the Championship is mixed, which makes it difficult to be consistent. The Qualifiers will be an opportunity for us to see where we are and the way we have to go to reach the very highest level.
“It will be great to play in a stadium like Headingley, in front of a big crowd and a good atmosphere.
“Leeds are powerful and fast so we’ll have to be error-free and play our game.”
Toulouse played in the Championship in 2009-2010 before returning to the French Elite competition.
They joined League One in 2016, winning promotion at the first attempt and finished fifth in the Championship last year.
“It’s a great accomplishment from everyone at the club,” Centrone said of the French outfit’s first appearance in the Qualifiers.
“From what I knew before coming here – and which was confirmed when I arrived – the Super League has been a goal of the club for many years so it’s great to be so close and I am proud to be part of this project. I hope we will continue like this.”