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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Whitehaven excited by new deal with St Helens

Whitehaven's new partnership with Super League giants St Helens will prove a winner for the Cumbrians, reckons Recre boss Dave Woods.

Dave Woods photo
Dave Woods

Under the agreement between the clubs, Woods will have access to leading Saints’ players not included in their weekly 19-man squad, while those lower down their first-team squad ladder will be available to Championship One Rochdale Hornets. The arrangement will mean Saints players feature for Haven throughout the season.

“We should get two or three each week,” said Woods, who has a long-term relationship with Saints, assisting on the coaching front, and he is also a pal of Mike Rush, who was in charge at Langtree Park for most of the Super League campaign.

“This has come about through my relationship with Saints. I’ve known Mike Rush for probably 10 years now and get on really well with him. I’ve spent a lot of time there and they have been really good and looked after me.

“Mike is very big on knowing who’s coaching his players, what they are doing, and how they are doing it.

“He knows I will be honest with him about players.

“It’s not a relationship we are getting nothing out of. It will work well for us.”

Woods has been on a handful of Under-18 tours to Australia with Saints over recent years, seeing the likes of Jonny Lomax, Scott Moore and Kyle Eastmond blossom in to top performers.

Chief executive Barry Richardson reckons the link will benefit both clubs as they develop a “strong and lasting relationship,” with Saints increasing their presence in west Cumbria.

Haven are not the only lower league club to form ties with top-flight outfits. Bradford are to twin with Championship neighbours Dewsbury, York are joining up with Hull, Hunslet have paired with Leeds and Swinton have linked up with Warrington.

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