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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

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Whitehaven will definitely play St Helens this season - Richardson

Whitehaven will put the finishing touches to their pre-season preparation in training after yesterday’s clash with St Helens fell victim to the weather.

Following heavy rain over recent days, Saints did not wish to expose their players to the chance of injury at the Recreation Ground.

“If it had been a league game, it could have gone ahead, but St Helens were a bit concerned as they had a number of first-team players set to take part, and they didn’t want to risk injuries so close to their first Super League game on Thursday,” said Haven chief executive Barry Richardson.

“They are definitely going to bring a team up here to play us at an appropriate time this season, and are committed to a dinner in May.

“They are keen to help us in any way they can and their chief executive Mike Rush amplified that point yesterday. Years ago, people would have described the current condition of the pitch as pretty good, but Super League clubs are now used to playing in summer on some outstanding surfaces. I understand their position. It was disappointing for them as well.”

Richardson, who was full of praise for the Recre ground-staff’s efforts, revealed the likes of Ade Gardner and Mark Flanagan would have lined up for Saints, along with Paul Clough, Joe Greenwood, Anthony Walker and Jordan Hand.

Haven, who open their Championship campaign at Keighley on Sunday, are set to take Saints players on loan this year and coach Dave Woods could find out today who is initially available, ahead of his final preparations for the big kick-off.

“The lads have been training really well and Dave is keen to get some quality time with them leading up to the Keighley game. It’s a long, important season, and it’s important we are firing on all cylinders,” said Richardson.

The final line-up for the May 2 dinner is yet to be finalised, but Saints players will attend.

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