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After a number of impressive performances during Lebanon's run to the knockout stages of the Rugby League World Cup, young Cedars half Khaled Rajab has his sights set on an NRL debut – and he's got plenty of support.

Rajab is currently on a train-and-trial deal with the Bulldogs, but has already caught the eye of Phil Gould, who has already singled out Rajab as a promising NRL prospect for 2023.

Gould first mentioned Rajab on social prior to the World Cup, claiming he would “debut next year, probably at No.7”.

That perception clearly hasn't changed, with Gould doubling down on his belief in the 20-year-old this week, saying he's still ‘confident' that the youngster will be in the mix next season.

Though he's not getting ahead of himself, Rajab admitted he was grateful for the support of someone so esteemed within the club and the game.

“I heard about that tweet,” Rajab told the Daily Telegraph.

“Some of my mates sent it to me saying ‘look what Gus said about you'. I was shocked.

“As a kid, that's what you dream of. For Gus to even mention I might have a chance to play NRL, I'm grateful. It makes me want to work harder to get that shot.”

Rajab has been a Bulldog for most of his life, playing through the club's junior ranks and earning the SG Ball Player of the Year award in 2019.

As a young Lebanese muslim, he drew particular inspiration from the feats of club icon Hazem El Masri.

“I grew up watching guys like Josh Reynolds, Trent Hodkinson and Josh Morris.

“But because of my background, Hazem El Masri stood out a lot.

“Even though we played different positions, watching another Lebanese player on the field, it was good to see.

“There are a couple of Muslims in the NRL, and I don't think there are any who are Lebanese heritage. It would mean the world, not just for me but for the community.

“The Bulldogs have a lot of Muslim supporters, they come from my culture, my background. I just want to be a role model for them and show parents rugby league can be a career.

“I want to be a figure they look up to, and show everyone that if you want to work hard, you can make it.”