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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Whitehaven prop Samir to play out wide against St Helens

Whitehaven are to utilise the power of big prop Samir Tahraoui out wide in tomorrow’s clash with visitors St Helens (2pm).

Samir Tahraoui photo
Samir Tahraoui

Tahraoui has made a strong start to his Haven career and produced a man of the match performance in their opening win against Workington Town.

And coach Dave Woods is looking for him to punch holes from the second-row against Saints, rather than down the middle of the field.

“With his size he can create some trouble a little wider, where he will have more space,” Woods said. “People will know they can’t take him one-on-one and will need numbers in the tackle, and that could create space for us.”

Skipper Lee Doran is set to switch to loose-forward with teenage newcomer Jordan Burns on the wing.

St Helens will name their team today, but it is expected to be stronger than the side that hammered Rochdale at Spotland last weekend.

“It will be a really big test for us, with the squad they are sending,” Woods added. “But it will give a good guide as to what we’re doing.”

The suspended Shaun Ainscough and Jessie Joe Parker, who arrives at the Recre on Tuesday, are still to add to the mix. And Woods is keen to take a look at both when available.

“Ainscough is a proven try-scorer and it would be silly not to put him when we can,” the coach said. “We had wanted to give Jordan a crack at the centre spot as well.

“We have a lot of options. Scott McAvoy, Stephen Fox or Jessie could move to the back-row. We have to be smart with Jordan and not have him facing the tough stuff every week as that could take its toll.

“It’s the same with Ben Milburn, who has done really well and is improving every week. He needs more size but has good footwork and has fitted in well.”

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