Toulouse Olympique snaffle World Cup halfback in bid for Super League promotion

TOULOUSE Olympique have swooped for a World Cup halfback in a bid to earn promotion back to Super League for 2023.

That man is Welsh playmaker Josh Ralph, who impressed greatly during his time in the UK at the tournament.

Born in the Southport district of Gold Coast in Australia, it was with the local junior teams of the Runaway Bay Seagulls and the Nerang Roosters that Ralph first stepped onto a rugby league field.

He then played in the Holden Cup – the NRL junior championship which brings together 16 clubs whose senior categories compete in the NRL – with the Gold Coast Titans then the Newcastle Knights.

Halfback Ralph then went on to sign with the Tweed Heads Seagulls in the Queensland Cup, before moving to the Brisbane East Tigers from 2017 to 2020, the North Sydney Bears (2021) and finally the Canterbury Bulldogs in 2022.

Now, he has put pen to paper on a deal with French club Toulouse.

“To be honest the halfback we were looking for,” Toulouse boss Sylvain Houles said.

“On the offensive level, he attacks the line well, he shows speed and brings a lot of uncertainty.

“On a human level, he shows great maturity for his 25 years, he has studied our project well and he knows how to approach our game.”

Meanwhile, Toulouse chairman Bernard Sarrazain was equally overjoyed with the recruit, saying: “We are very happy to see Josh joining our ranks and impatient to welcome him to Toulouse.

“We were eagerly looking for a half to complete our group, and he is what we are looking for on a sporting but also human level.”

Ralph himself cannot wait to get started: “I am very excited to join this great club and live this new experience alongside my family. I think leaving your comfort zone forces you to do more in order to be successful.

“I look forward to the challenge of the coming season and I am convinced that it will be a success.”