Cougars player-coach Paul March is expecting his side’s sternest test of pre-season so far at home to Championship rivals Dewsbury tonight (8pm).

Glenn Morrison’s side reached the play-offs after finishing seventh last term and have since made a number of notable signings, including former Bulls hooker Wayne Godwin.

That should ensure a tough contest for a Cougars side aiming to bounce back from an 18-16 defeat at Barrow.

Keighley had destroyed Rochdale on home soil in their opening friendly but a young, inexperienced team came out narrowly second-best to a strong Barrow side.

Now March is looking forward to tackling his home-town club tonight as new signing Paul Handforth prepares to make his home debut following his close-season signing from Halifax.

March, who partnered Handforth in the halves at Craven Park on Sunday, could also have Danny Jones available to face Dewsbury following his return from honeymoon.

“Glenn has put together another strong squad, so it’s sure to be our toughest friendly yet,” said March.

“It’s a challenge for us but we’ll mix the team up again. Lewis Graham is recovering from a broken hand and will be out for five to six weeks and Brendon Rawlins is nursing a groin injury.

“He should be back for the Batley game on February 9 but Ben Sagar and Paul White played last Sunday, so we are getting quality players back.”

Tickets for tonight’s game against the Rams, who also host Bradford on Sunday, are £10 adults, £5 concessions, £1 under-17s.