Barrow Raiders head coach Paul Crarey says his side will be stepping into the unknown when they face Toulouse Olympique on Saturday. 

The French side were relegated from Super League last season and have seen many of their 2022 squad leave during the off-season.

They didn’t play any friendlies in the lead-up to the new campaign, but Crarey says Sylvain Houles’ squad will still provide a real threat when they visit Cumbria for the opening game of the new Betfred Championship season this weekend.

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“I know they’ve had a turnover of personnel and were relegated from Super League last year,” he said.

“They’ve lost a few players; you always do when you’re relegated, so they’re regrouping. 

“[They are an] unknown quantity. We don’t know much about them and we can’t get any tape on them because they haven’t played any friendlies, but we know they have quality players.

“We haven’t beaten them for a while, and they’re second-favourites behind Featherstone to return to Super League, so it’ll be a big test for us. 

“Last week’s game against Wigan will set us in good stead for a really tough encounter.”

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Crarey is hoping to see a big crowd for the opening game of the new season, with a fantastic turnout for last week’s 26-14 friendly victory over Wigan Warriors.

“We had a great crowd for the friendly, nearly 2,500. We’ve got to make our own atmosphere,” the Raiders head coach added.

“Hopefully we’ll get a result which will kick us on. It’ll be tough, but if we do everything right and progress as a team, we’ll have a good chance.”

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