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Preview: Les Catalans v Bradford (Round
Catalans Dragons coaching assistant Paul Donkin believes his side will respond to the challenge of facing the man he rates as the world?s best player ? Bradford?s Stuart Fielden.
The Great Britain forward visits the Aime Giral in Perpignan on Saturday as champions Bradford take their unbeaten engage Super League record to France.
Donkin is looking forward to the clash as Catalans, following successive away defeats, aim to replicate their memorable opening-day home success over Wigan.
?We are in a very privileged position,? said Donkin, who will continue to run the side along with David Waite until new coach Mick Potter arrives later this month.
?Our first two games in France are against the two benchmark sides of the last decade, Wigan and Bradford.
?The town is buzzing at the prospect of Bradford visiting, and we?re looking forward to the atmosphere in the stadium. We need it to be a cauldron.
?My players are really up for the game. We know what to expect and we?re relishing matching their physical presence.
?I believe that on current form, Stuart Fielden is the best player in the world. Facing him at the moment is the absolute test. He could do a job in the NRL no problem.
?My forwards are pretty useful as well though, and are looking forward to facing him. We will raise our game to meet the challenge.?
The Dragons have found life tougher since their Wigan success, suffering defeats at both Salford and Castleford whilst playmaker Stacey Jones has been ruled out for up to two months with a broken arm.
?I believe if Jones had have been playing, we would be talking about taking three from three,? Donkin added.
?We have to put that behind us now and have two home games against two great clubs (Bradford and Leeds) to look forward to.
?Like any team, we need to be strong at home. I?ve been pleasantly surprised with how the French public have responded to us and we need it to continue.?
Laurent Frayssinous is likely to continue at scrum-half for Catalans in the absence of Jones while Bradford could be unchanged from the side victorious over Salford last week.
Catalans Dragons v Bradford Bulls, Saturday March 4
Catalans Dragons 18-man: Bosc, Murphy, Wilson, Hughes, Verges, Rudder, Frayssinous, Chan, Rinaldi, Beattie, Fakir, Guisset, Hindmarsh, Mounis, Fellous, Touxagas, Guigue, Teixido.
Bradford 18-man: Deacon, Bai, Fielden, I. Harris, Withers, Smith, B. Harris, Gene, Pryce, Ferres, Cook, Vagana, Langley, Hape, McKenna, Meyers, Lynch, Henderson.
Referee: R Silverwood