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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Haven new boy ready to fight for his shirt

Keen new recruit James Newton is out to prove he is worth a starting role at hooker for Whitehaven next season.

jnewton
New boy on the block: James Newton will face stiff competition from Carl Sice, left, and Chris Smith, below

The club already boast two established No 9s, Chris Smith and Carl Sice, and the ex-Hull Under-20s skipper believes he must dig deep to earn his place in the team after penning a two-year deal.

“They have offered me a lot of game time, if I can put in the time and effort,” said the 20-year-old. “Obviously, I need to have a good pre-season and show I can start at nine and go from there. I have to show I’m good enough.”

Newton, from Millom, believes he is a much better player now than when he signed a two-year contract with Super League Hull in January 2011.

“I’ve learned loads. This year training with the first-team brought me on leaps and bounds, being around the full-time professionals,” added Newton, who reckons Haven’s new link with St Helens might lead to an opportunity for him.

“I don’t see Super League as being over for me yet, if I can play well for Whitehaven. St Helens are looking around as well. If they get a lot of injuries they could take a player from Whitehaven.”

Newton played for Hull in friendlies against York and Featherstone last term and also had a short stint on dual-registration at Workington Town. And he expects the standard in the Championship to be high once again next term, especially with so many players from Super League clubs’ Under-20s becoming available.

He continued: “I’m a big fitness bloke and I’m looking to smash pre-season this year. I don’t really like having time off and I’m looking forward to getting back in to it.”

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