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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Whitehaven aiming to forge strong links with French side

Whitehaven are looking to build a bridge across the Channel with French champions Carcassonne when they escape Britain’s big freeze this week.

Barry Richardson photo
Barry Richardson

The Cumbrians fly out on Thursday for a four-day trip which will include a clash with the Elite 1 outfit. And Haven are keen to forge close links with their hosts.

“It’s something we will be talking about while we are over there. It could turn out to be a really good move,” said chief executive Barry Richardson, who was able to arrange the match through his friendship with Cyril Cabrol, the former Lezignan team manager.

“Carcassonne wanted to fix up a friendly with an English club, for a gala day, and Cyril said Whitehaven would be good. He takes a great interest in Whitehaven and wants us to do well.”

Cabrol directed Frenchman Amar Sabri to the Recre in 2009, and the scrum-half was closing in on a first-team debut when he opted to return home due to fatigue after a full season with Carcassonne.

Sabri is still with the French outfit, who beat visitors Avignon 22-15 at the weekend, Kiwi second-row Vinnie Anderson, the former Warrington Wolves regular, scoring two tries and having a third disallowed.

Seven of Haven’s Championship rivals are due to complete their pre-season preparation with friendlies in England this week, though icy-weather must have put question marks against them.

York City Knights, Haven’s opening league opponents, are due to entertain Hull on Sunday.

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