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Wednesday, 01 April 2015

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New boy Rhys Clarke out to stake his Whitehaven first-team claim

New boy Rhys Clarke declared he would go all-out to lay an early first-team marker on his Whitehaven debut against hometown club Gateshead on Sunday.

Rhys Clarke photo
Rhys Clarke

The Geordie back-rower came through the junior ranks at Thunder and still lives in the town. But he warned there was no room for sentiment in his first friendly appearance in front of the Recre faithful.

“I’ve had a bit of banter with a few of the Gateshead boys I’ve known for a long time,” he said. “I still see them all the time, and I’m looking forward to playing against them. Hopefully I can put in a good performance and let fans know what I’m all about. To cement a first-team spot is my first goal, and once I’ve done that I’ll hopefully be a key player. It’s my first game back after I did my wrist and hopefully I’ll get a good number of minutes under my belt, and my confidence back.”

Clarke missed the final three games of last season after breaking and dislocating his wrist playing for York. But he has settled in well at Haven.

“It’s usually hard coming in to a new team, but, like it was at York, all the boys are spot-on,” he added.

“Jamie Rooney looks really good in training, obviously, and has been around for years. James Newton goes for it 100 per cent whether it’s touch or tackle, and then there are experienced blokes like Paul Jackson. I’ve never seen anyone as big move as fast.”

Jessie Joe Parker returned to Whitehaven yesterday.



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