A KEIGHLEY rugby league legend says he can't wait to help kick off the second coming of Cougarmania this weekend.

Derek Hallas, now 85, played centre for Keighley RLFC in two spells, scoring 75 tries in 175 appearances between December 1953 and January 1959 and 14 times between October 1962 and April 1963, will be guest of honour at Cougars' first and only pre-season friendly against Leeds Rhinos at Cougars Park this weekend.

Cougars will battle a Leeds side on Sunday (kick-off 3pm) for the inaugural Derek Hallas Trophy. Hallas also lined up for Leeds between January 1959 and October 1962 before a spell in Australia playing for Parramatta Eels between 1963 and 1965.

Despite looking back fondly at his career, Hallas, who also earned two Great Britain caps in 1961, is looking forward to his first glimpse of the new-look Cougars.

Hallas, who will present the trophy to the winning captain on Sunday, said: "It's a bit of a shock to have a trophy named after me.

"I'm happy that the Cougars are in good hands now and they are going to try to revive it. The fact that Leeds are going to help out is great.

"I hope they can get Keighley back up and running. They were a good little club when I went there.

"I have always been interested in how they have gone on. It is shame what has happened to them recently.

"It is going to be tough for them but they have had a lot of genuine fans helping them out. This year is a year of establishing themselves again. A draw would be fantastic on Sunday. It is great that Keighley have got the support from rugby league clubs like Leeds.

"I hope that the fans will turn up and support it. It should be a good day.

"I hope the club can get back on its feet. I hope for Keighley and rugby league that it all works out for them.

"I'm looking to going to the game to see a Leeds team trot out at Keighley again."

Hallas added he recalls his Keighley side, under the chairmanship of John Smallwood, being competitive and Kath Ferguson walking from her house across the road to Lawkholme Lane with buckets of water to fill the players' bath.