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Super League preview: Catalan Dragons v Leeds Rhinos
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Super League high-flyers Catalan Dragons will be hoping to continue their fine home form against the Leeds Rhinos on Easter Monday.
The Dragons have beaten Leeds in their last two league meetings in France, although the Rhinos exacted revenge somewhat with a 27-20 success in the play-offs.
Leeds come into the match on the back of an 18-all draw with rivals Bradford Bulls on Thursday while the Dragons claimed a 30-24 win over the London Broncos.
Catalan's Tongan prop Lopini Paea is set to make his first appearance of the season after recovering from knee surgery.
Coach Laurent Frayssinous has recalled forwards Gregory Mounis and Jamal Fakir along with winger Damien Blanch, who all sat out the win at London.
Leeds prop Brad Singleton is set to make his first appearance of the season after being recalled from Hunslet following the loss of Kylie Leuluai with a groin strain.
Singleton began the campaign with a month-long loan at Wakefield Wildcats before joining the Hawks on dual registration in order to continue his development.
Chris Clarkson and hooker Paul McShane are hoping for a recall for Leeds' trip to the south of France.
Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott is not underestimating the Dragons, who topped the Super League table for the first time in their brief history last Thursday.
"The fact that they are joint top of the league shows how tough they are this year," said McDermott. "They are showing real consistency in their performances.
"Their record at home is well known so we are aware exactly how hard it is to go down there and get a result. There are a lot of factors that are unique to playing in Perpignan and you have to be ready for that.
"Last season in the league we gave them a big lead and were forced to chase the game after that, which is a difficult task at any time but particularly hard down there."
Catalan Dragons: Blanch, Pryce, Taia, Bosc, Elima, Henderson, Casty, Menzies, Anderson, Mounis, Pelissier, Millard, Pala, Simon, Fakir, Paea, Baitieri, Vaccari, Escare.
Leeds Rhinos: Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, McShane, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Ward, Delaney, Bailey, Kirke, Clarkson, Achurch, Moore, Singleton, Vickery.
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First Utility Super League Table
|10||Hull K R||2||0|
|12||Salford Red Devils||2||0|
|First Utility Super League|
|Friday 27th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Castleford Tigers|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:00||Catalans Dragons vs Warrington Wolves|
|19:30||Salford Red Devils vs Hull FC|
|Sunday 1st March|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Wigan Warriors|
|15:00||Widnes Vikings vs Wakefield Wildcats|
|Thursday 5th March|
|20:00||Hull FC vs Leeds Rhinos|
|Friday 6th March|
|20:00||Wakefield vs St Helens|
|20:00||Huddersfield Giants vs Widnes Vikings|
|20:00||Castleford Tigers vs Wigan Warriors|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:30||Catalans Dragons vs Salford Red Devils|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 26th February|
|Leeds Rhinos 28 - 24 Huddersfield Giants|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wakefield 44 - 24 Hull K R|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Catalans Dragons 13 - 12 Castleford|
|Friday 13th February|
|Hull 6 - 7 Warrington|
|Leeds 38 - 6 Widnes|
|Wigan 24 - 16 Huddersfield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|Salford 6 - 52 St Helens|
|Sunday 8th February|
|Castleford 22 - 24 Wakefield|
|Huddersfield 0 - 19 Hull|
|Hull K R 30 - 40 Leeds|
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