PAUL Crarey has not given up hope on the possibility of Arnaud Bartes returning to Barrow Raiders, despite the prop being called into Catalans Dragons' Super League squad for pre-season training.

Bartes made a big impression at Craven Park last season after joining on loan from the Challenge Cup winners' reserve side, St-Esteve XIII Catalan, and has now been asked to train with the senior side on the back of those displays.

The 28-year-old will compete with the likes of skipper Remy Casty, French international Julian Bousquet and Tongan powerhouse Sam Moa for a place in the team, but Raiders head coach Crarey will keep in contact with Catalans boss Steve McNamara to see if Bartes could return on loan again.

"We wish Arnaud all the best and if we could get him back, we'd have him back tomorrow," said Crarey. "He might not break into their squad, so I'll speak to Steve about maybe getting him on loan again if that is the case.

"But he's at home, he's comfortable there around his family. It was a big wrench for him, but he was prepared to come back and whether he does or not, I don't know.

"I don't know how it will work in pre-season there because they've got some very high-quality players and Super League is a bit above Championship, but Arnaud is definitely one I feel could make the grade."

Crarey compared Bartes' emergence as a force to be reckoned with while at Barrow to Joe Bullock and Chris Hankinson, both of whom eventually progressed to Super League with Wigan Warriors.

The Barrow boss believes that reflects well on the work they are doing and is delighted to see Bartes get a chance.

"He came in and he wasn't getting a look-in over there, and he was playing for their feeder team," said Crarey. "He spent the rest of the season with us, did really well, and he's gone back over and they've picked him up.

"He's a big unit, he can travel and he's probably better in their environment where they speak French. But he was a weapon, and him and Tom Walker in the game at Sheffield were outstanding.

"Since he's played for us, he's raised the attention of everybody, like Joe and Hank did, and they seem to push on, which speaks volumes for what we're doing at Barrow as a club."