After a brilliant lunchtime kick-off featuring Wigan Warriors and Leigh Leopards that saw the winning Warriors jump into second place, it’s now the turn of the Super League leaders with Catalans Dragons hosting Salford Red Devils.
The Red Devils are one of just a few teams to beat the Dragons this season but on the road and with a depleted squad this will be a far tougher test.
A win would push Salford back level on points with sixth placed Hull KR but they’ve need a win by a significant margin to leapfrog the Challenge Cup finalists, whereas for Catalans it’s just about trying to extend their gap at the top of the table after Leigh’s loss.
The Dragons have been in brilliant form barring a surpise home loss to Huddersfield Giants but generally they’ve been excellent this season losing just twice at the Stade Gilbert Brutus.
As for Salford they’ve actually faired quite well on the road with five wins to four losses, but their squad is very thin today.
Andy Ackers plays once again but starts from the bench with the impressive performances from Amir Borough taking the starting hooker slot.
Centre Tim Lafai is out, whilst second-rower and captain Kallum Watkins remains missing.
Arguably though the biggest miss of all would be Marc Sneyd with the brilliant playmaker being replaced by one of the league’s best utility men in Chris Atkin.
The bench is fairly thin with it seeming to be true regarding the rumours that King Vuniyaya couldn’t get into France as he’s the only absentee from the initial 19-man squad, as Rhys Williams runs as 18th man.
Here’s how we line-up in the South of France! 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/ZsNiDEmLlt
— Salford Red Devils 👹 (@SalfordDevils) July 29, 2023
As for Catalans and they’re without Arthur Mourgue once again but the superb Tom Johnstone and Tom Davies operate on the wings, with the three quarter positions occupied by Adam Keighran and Matt Ikuvalu.
Mitchell Pearce and Tyrone May start together as the first choice halves pairing for one of the few times this season whilst there’s another strong pack built around Mike McMeeken and Romain Navarette.
The Dragons will be heavy favourites for this one given their strength and home form, coupled with what has been reported as a scorcher in Perpignan which will likely favour them.
— Dragons Catalans (@DragonsOfficiel) July 29, 2023