GARY Fawcett has paid tribute to Brendon Rawlins' loyalty to the Cougars as they prepare to honour him in his testimonial match.

Leeds Rhinos pay a rare visit to Cougar Park on Sunday in a friendly to mark the Australian prop's long service to Keighley.

James Feather is poised to come out of retirement for one game only to help his friend 'Rawlo' celebrate his big day.

The Queenslander is now the Cougars' longest-serving player – having 246 appearances to his name since he arrived from Balmain Tigers in 2007 – following Feather's decision to hang up his boots last season.

Club chairman Fawcett said: "It is incredibly rare for a young Australian to come over at the age of 20 and play the next 11 years with one semi-professional rugby league club.

"He was not an automatic first-team choice when he came but he is now if fit and available and he deserves that as he puts the effort in on the pitch."

Having settled down and built a family in Keighley, Rawlins is very much an adopted local now.

Over the years, he has become a fans' favourite, with Fawcett saying: "He is popular with supporters.

"He makes himself available and chats to fans and has grown from being a youngster plying his trade to a senior member of the squad.

"I think the fans respect his opinion. If the team is not doing so well, he is perfectly happy to talk to fans. He is one of the first to be sponsored every year."

The Rhinos' prime focus this week is the start of their Super League title defence at Warrington, which takes place tonight, but some first-team squad players and rising stars could be on show at Cougar Park.

Fawcett is hopeful a big crowd will turn out for Keighley's final home pre-season friendly before they entertain Workington on February 18.

He said: "It will be a good run-out for our guys – and a point of interest as I can't remember the last time we had any Leeds Rhinos side down in any shape or form at Cougar Park.

"Just from that perspective, I think we'll get a good crowd down for Brendon."

The Cougars have lost all three friendlies to date, suffering a 52-6 defeat at Oldham last Sunday.

Having varied his options for much of pre-season, coach Craig Lingard is set to home in on what he thinks will be his strongest line-ups for Sunday's clash and the final friendly at Bradford Bulls a week later.

"It's important now heading into these final two friendlies against Leeds and Bradford that as a coaching staff we now look at identifying our strongest 17," said Lingard.

"The fringe players have had their chance now. We need to make sure we're tighter around the ruck, be more consistent with the ball in hand and from the 32 players I've got, we need to make sure we have our strongest 17."