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Ex-Championship star set for starting NRL half-back gig


A former Championship star and current Welsh international looks potentially set to become an NRL side’s chief playmaker according to reports down under.

That man is Josh Ralph, the Australian-born Welsh international who shone for Toulouse Olympique in the 2023 Championship season in which the club narrowly missed out on promotion to Super League.

Ralph has signed for the French side ahead of the 2023 campaign and made an instant impact as he scored 14 tries in 20 games from the halves in a Toulouse side that placed second in the table.

The Olympians were defeated by London Broncos in the game to earn promotion with Ralph’s first-half try being wiped out thanks to a Broncos’ comeback win.

Perhaps had Toulouse won that game then we’d be witnessing Ralph’s talents in Super League now but the Welsh international was confirmed to leave the club at the end of October and has since found success in the New South Wales Cup down under.

Ralph has starred for St George Illawarra Dragons’ NSW Cup side registering eight assists in just four games and that’s caught the attention of  Shane Flanagan and a host of other clubs.

Per The Mole, Ralph is being viewed up as the possible heir apparent for Ben Hunt who aged 34 is coming to a close in his career with the club.

Ralph will almost certainly get a chance to impress in the starter spot when Hunt goes on Origin duties for Queensland and that will give him a chance to impress Flaanagn and other NRL sides.

That’s because The Mole reports that a host of other teams are monitoring the off-contract 26-year-old with a view to sign him up for the 2025 season.

Who is former Championship star Josh Ralph?

Championship star Josh Ralph

Ralph has seven caps to his name for Wales and played for the country at the most recent World Cup but he is Australian by birth, qualifying to represent Wales through his grandmother.

He has mainly played in the NSW Cup and Queensland Cup down under before his one-year spell with Toulouse saw him enter the realms of professional first-team rugby league.

Learning under a player such as Ben Hunt means that Ralph will only be getting better and he had already shown what he could do last season in the Championship.

Upon signing Ralph for Toulouse, head coach Sylvain Houles said:

“It is, to be honest, the halfback we were looking for. On the offensive level, he attacks the line well, he shows speed and brings a lot of uncertainty.

“On a human level, he shows great maturity for his 25 years, he has studied our project well and he has in mind to bring us back.”

That project of Super League obviously wasn’t achieved which saw Ralph leave the club before landing on a one-year contract down under with the Dragons.

When joining the French side, he said: “I am feeling very excited to join this great club and take on this experience with my family by my side. I think leaving your comfort zone forces you to do the things required to be successful. I look forward to the challenge ahead this coming season and have no doubt it will be a successful one.”

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