Whitehaven coach Gary Charlton has made initial enquiries about beefing up his depleted squad with loan signings.

Charlton faces the prospect of a trip to London at the weekend without five members of his regular squad.

“I have started the ball rolling but these things don’t happen overnight and we will just have to wait and see how quickly we get a response.

“There’s every possibility that we will be travelling to play the Skolars on Saturday with the lads we already have,” said the coach.

Whitehaven are travelling down on Friday to stay overnight ahead of the game at the New River Stadium on Saturday afternoon. They will travel home after the game.

Brett Phillips suffered a hairline fracture of the eye socket ten days ago at Newcastle Thunder and won’t be involved, while Jake Moore (hamstring) and Scott McAvoy (knee) are certain non-starters after being hurt in the home defeat by North Wales.

Two other players who had to come off against North Wales, and were unable to return on the day may also have to miss the trip south.

Carl Forster is said to be 50-50 after suffering a dead leg while Jessie Joe Parker will need a head test after being prevented from going back on against the Crusaders.

It was that decision which meant Haven then had to bring off Ethan Kelly, who had been Parker’s replacement, and so finished the game with 12 men. It was during that period that the visitors scored two late tries to take the game 24-22.

Saturday’s hosts London Skolars are also having to respond to a defeat after they crashed 38-26 at Keighley last Saturday.

Skolars and Whitehaven have been the two surprise packets in League One this season and when they met at the Recreation Ground a month ago were joint leaders. Haven won 32-6 to go clear at the top and they have stayed there since.

But following two successive defeats their lead is down to just a point from Hunslet and Oldham.

Newcastle and Skolars are a point further back in fourth and fifth.