Injured Whitehaven player-coach wants to tackle Barrow Raiders
Coach Carl Forster is desperate to be part of the Whitehaven team which takes on Barrow in Sunday’s big derby clash at the Recreation Ground.
But Forster will continue to take physio advice about his participation ahead of the game, as he nurses a hand injury from the Keighley game almost a fortnight ago.
After sitting out the 12-12 draw at North Wales on Sunday, Forster has admitted he didn’t enjoy the experience.
“It was hard sitting on the sidelines and, believe it or not, I was more nervous doing that than playing in any of the previous games," he said.
“I don’t think it helped that I couldn’t do anything about it on the field. What made it tougher was that some lads, who have been so consistent this season, weren’t at their best.
“Basically, I don’t like watching when physically you can’t have any effect on the outcome of the game."
Forster will include himself in the 19-man squad but will take a late decision on whether he can be part of the match day 17.
He knows he will have to reshuffle the backs as long-serving winger Craig Calvert, the club’s record try scorer, is certain to miss out with a hamstring injury.
“He’s one of our most experienced players, so it will be tough losing his services,” admitted Forster.
Opponents Barrow appear to be rediscovering their best form at the right time as they approach the Eights which will decide the promotion issues.
They started to stutter after two tough games and two heavy defeats in succession, at Leeds in the Challenge Cup and in Canada to unbeaten leaders Toronto Wolfpack.
Coach Paul Crarey believes the performance in an 80-10 win over Oxford last Saturday was a sign Barrow are starting to return to the sort of form they showed in the early weeks of the League One season.
"It's good for our points difference and gives us a little bit of a cushion come the Eights," said Crarey.
"We are finding our feet now and getting back to where we were.
"Credit to this bunch of players, they've been absolutely outstanding all year for me."