Whitehaven RL boss Gary Charlton is excited to see the club back in action in the Challenge Cup after a long absence from the field.

“We’ve had a long time off, the boys are fresh they’re raring to go," he said.

Charlton said that although the timescale was not ideal, with just one pre-season game before the Challenge Cup, the players would be ready.

“The rest has done them good. It’s just our time on the field won’t be as much as we would have wanted, but we’re really looking forward to it.”

Training recommenced for Haven last week, Charlton said: “The boys are really enjoying it. They’re buying into training. We’re just limited on time to get the lads right for March 21.”

But Haven are bringing a strengthened squad. “We all know what Greg McNally can do. He’s been at Whitehaven before. He’s a good talker; he sorts our defensive line out.”

Another familiar face, Liam Cooper is back at Haven, signing from Widnes Vikings in September.

It will be a tough competition, but Whitehaven are ready for the challenge. Charlton said: “It’s probably the biggest knockout competition going.

“We don’t go into any competition where we don’t want to progress.”