Whitehaven this week finally expect to land the half-back they have been chasing for a number of weeks.

After the 40-4 home defeat by Toulouse Olympique, coach Gary Charlton said: “We are closing in on a deal for an experienced scrum-half who we hope will make a difference in the Championship.

“He is playing in Britain and is an experienced player, used to the top level and who is now playing rugby union.”

Haven’s plans for their return to the Championship were thrown into disarray when Papua New Guinea star Ase Boas had a change of heart over signing for Charlton’s side.

He instead elected to stay in his homeland and sign for the Hunters club, having initially agreeing a deal to come to the west Cumbrian club.

Looking back at the Toulouse game Charlton said: “I think that’s the best team we have played and really does show the class at the top end of the Championship.

“They are strong and move the ball around so well, and of course being full-time make them formidable opponents.”

Charlton rued his side’s inability to keep the French side at bay in the early stages, which put his side on the backfoot almost immediately.

“It didn’t help us conceding a try after only five minutes, and allowing them back-to-back sets made it worse for us.

“I thought we did very well in the second-half. We came out strongly, got our try and had other opportunities but I’m afraid we gave three tries through individual errors.

“At the end of the day we were beaten by a very good side but came through it with no more injury setbacks. Connor Holliday got 15 minutes after being out all season and hopefully will have no reaction.

“It’s another tough test next week at Widnes but that’s what you expect in the Championship. There are no easy games at this level.”

Haven have finally been told that their Coral Challenge Cup game with Dewsbury has been rearranged for Wednesday, March 11 under the Recreation Ground floodlights.