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Thursday, 28 August 2014

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Whitehaven RL eyeing more French talent

Whitehaven could be set to import further French flair after the success of their four-day cross-Channel trip.

The Cumbrians secured the signature of French international prop Sebastien Martins during the break, in which they went down 40-30 to French champs Carcassonne in their final pre-season outing. And Haven believe they have established a strong bond.

“We had a meeting with their club president to discuss how we could take things forward,” said chief executive Barry Richardson. “A number of their players expressed an interest in coming to Whitehaven when their season finishes.

“Carcassonne were league and cup winners last year and have hit a rich vein of form this season. They have a number of quality players and a big, strong-running pack.

“Their feedback regarding the Whitehaven side was excellent, and it was a really good workout for our team.

“As a club and as people, they couldn’t have been more hospitable. We both want a long, sustainable relationship, and if the calendar permits, we would like to play an annual game against them.”

Carcassonne lie fifth in the French top-flight, eight points behind leaders Pia. Their season finishes in May.

Richardson was delighted the Haven squad were well-behaved throughout the trip. “When we arrived, the Carcassonne president spoke to me about the players behaving at the hotel, as previous teams had caused severe problems,” he said. “Our senior players responded fantastically – a credit to the club.”

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