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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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James Newton finally gets chance to impress for Whitehaven

Hooker James Newton will finally get the chance to impress for Whitehaven tomorrow against York City Knights – after being grounded for last week’s trip to France.

James Newton photo
James Newton

The ex-Hull FC junior was devastated to miss the clash with Carcassonne after mislaying his passport, while every other player in the squad was given a chance to stake a claim.

But boss Dave Woods said: “We can’t hold that against him. He is a bit infectious at training, with his talking, and he’s really lively.

“He is really keen and we look forward to him playing. He can’t wait to get out there, and I’m sure he will do a good job for us.”

Newton, from Millom, also missed Haven’s other friendly, against Gateshead, with a finger injury.

Fellow No 9 Chris Smith picked up a slight hamstring problem last week and will not feature tomorrow. But prop Paul Cullnean is set to be handed a start, with new French recruit Seb Martins, who joined Haven in camp at Carcassonne and flew in to England on Thursday, featuring off the bench.

Woods added: “Paul started in France, and he will do all the tough work in the first 15/20 minutes, and then come off for a spell, and some big, fresh blokes will go on. He has trained well and deserves his shot.

“Dave Houghton and Seb Martins will give us some punch off the bench. Seb was very good in training last week and picked things up really well.

“He will get better the more game-time he gets, and the more he gets used to the boys around him.”

Woods reckons Haven are capable of a top-eight finish on their return to the Championship.

“There’s plenty of improvement to come from us,” he said. “The competition is not won in the first few rounds, though they set you up for your position on the table.

“It will take us some time to get used to combinations with the new boys. I’m looking forward to it now. It’s nearly with us and we are ready for it.”

Whitehaven (from): Thorman, Calvert, McAvoy, Parker, Ackerley, Fleming, Rooney, Southernwood, Jackson, Newton, Cullnean, Clarke, Doran, Paterson, Sice, Houghton, Martins, Crellin, Wilson, Cameron.

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