17th May 2018, 09:17 | Toulouse

Kheirallah looks ahead to Magic Weekend’s international showdown

Kheirallah looks ahead to Magic Weekend’s international showdown

By Dan Fowler

Toulouse Olympique full back Mark Kheirallah is looking forward to making his Magic Weekend debut against Toronto Wolfpack on Saturday.

The clash of the Betfred Championship heavyweights will open proceedings on Saturday (12:45pm KO) and after their last meeting ended 24-22 to Toronto at Stade Ernest Argeles, Olympique will be aiming to right some wrongs.

Toulouse are second in the table, three points adrift of the Wolfpack, and a victory at Magic will put the French side right back in the mix for the top spot.

When asked if revenge is on Toulouse's mind, Kheirallah said: "That aspect is always going to be there.

"We never like to lose so when you get an opportunity to get one back, it's nice to have.

"Toronto are at the top of the table and they are the ones to beat.

"They were just a bit too experienced for us (last) time.

"They stuck to their strengths and played the conditions really well.

"(A win at Magic) would be tremendous for everyone, in terms of confidence, pressure and the little things that hide in the shadows."

Following the disappointment of missing out on the top four last year, Kheirallah highlighted how composure is vital to maintaining their place in this season's Qualifiers.

With four points separating themselves and fifth-placed Leigh Centurions, every game is important for Sylvain Houles' men as they look to make amends for their 2017 campaign.

"That (a lack of composure) was one of the biggest lessons we took out of last year.

"There were a couple of games I feel we should have won but we didn't.

"It is about keeping our composure and focusing on our game and not worrying too much about finishing in the top four or going to Super League."

One of the main strengths in Toulouse's game, which could see them gain a few neutral fans at St James' Park, is their willingness to throw the ball around and play expansively.

This suits Kheirallah down to the ground and the French international has starred for Olympique ever since his move in 2012.

"I love it!" Kheirallah beamed when talking about his role in an exciting Toulouse side.

"It's like when I was growing up and playing park footy in the back yard with my mates.

"We execute a little bit better than back in those days!

"Especially for me, I like to run and everyone loves scoring tries so it’s a great system to be a part of."

Saturday's match is a massive chance for the international Championship teams to show their worth in front of a healthy crowd at St James' Park as well as on worldwide TV.

Kheirallah and his teammates will be hoping for a successful performance and a possible return next season - but as a Super League club in their own right.