Exclusive: Super League fullback reveals he turned down rival club

Toulouse Olympique will be heading into Super League for the first ever time in their history following a triumphant victory over Featherstone Rovers in the Million Pound Game back in October.

For some of their squad they have never played in the top flight before, but for one man in particular, he cannot wait to get started.

“It feels amazing, it’s been a very long process to get into Super League and to finally reach the goal it feels incredible,” Mark Kheirallah told Serious About Rugby League.

Whilst most pundits and fans believe the French side will finish more or less at the bottom of the table, Kheirallah admitted that him and his teammates cannot think like that.

“We can’t think about the season coming up thinking we are going to finish last no matter what everyone else says.

“With the way we play, we will always score points, it will just be interesting to come up against Super League defences.”

In the past, the Australian fullback has had interest from top flight clubs, one of which turned out to be the Castleford Tigers, but Kheirallah revealed that talks didn’t get very far.

“It was only a rumour, there wasn’t any contract put down or serious interest – it was kind of nothing big to be fair.

“It was an initial talk and then just a question put out there, but I was and am happy here.”

Toulouse have signed five new players in the form of James Cunningham, Gadwin Springer, Chris Hankinson, Matty Russell and Lucas Albert, but one in particular has caught Kheirallah’s eye.

“Chris Hankinson is a really big, strong centre, he’s quite fit and a really good goal kicker.

“I’ve played against him for a few years now and he’s quite underrated, so I’m looking forward to how he goes.”

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