Tahraoui stays with Rochdale

Prop Samir Tahraoui has signed a new contract with Rochdale Hornets to remain at the Crown Oil Arena for the 2017 season.

The 25-year old wants to continue on from their success in 2016, where they finished second after the regular season and went on to beat full-time outfit Toulouse Olympique in France against all odds.

“Given the season that we’d had and obviously winning the final, I think that was the biggest incentive to stay because we finished the season on such a high,” he said.

“I believe that we can go into the Championship and upset quite a lot of teams.

“I think having won in that fashion was one of the biggest things that made me stay.

“We’re not going up just to make up the numbers.

“I think we can replicate what Swinton and Oldham have done this year, they have upset quite a few sides but I think keeping the bulk of the squad we had last year with some additions we will have a better side than both of those teams and we can cause some real upsets next year.

“We’re not going into this league as underdogs, people might see us like that but as a team and off the back of that win against Toulouse we have the belief that we can go up and be the best non full-time team in the division.

“I think that is the minimum of what we should expect from ourselves.”

After their forward pack dominated the third tier last season they will need to step up again in 2017 as they come up against some quality opposition.

The front-rower believes that it will be a tough assignment to be as dominant next year, but insists they won’t be backing down from any challenges that they face.

“I think it will be a lot tougher, no disrespect to League One sides but the guys in the Championship are a lot bigger and a lot more disciplined and they have all been around the game a lot longer,” Tahraoui said.

“I think to dominate every team would be quite a big ask but if we can keep the majority of the forwards from last year with some additions then we can go in there and be as dominant as we want to be. That’s the goal and that’s what we’re hoping to do.”

Last season Samir decided to pull out of the final year of his contract with Bradford to join Rochdale, after spending the previous season on loan at Keighley Cougars.

It was a decision which paid off for the six-foot seven prop, as he gained promotion with his new club and will be playing Championship rugby in 2017.

Despite that, he doesn’t feel there is a point to prove and is focused on performing for his team, and doing all he can for the Hornets cause.

“I don’t feel I need to prove myself to anyone, I know what I am capable of,” he said.

“I’m not there to impress Bradford or any other team for that matter, I’m just there to do my job for Hornets to the best of my ability. They’ll see what I’m capable of when we play against them.”

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