A NEW recruit has been captured by Whitehaven RLFC just as championship rugby league makes its return.

Haven has announced the signing of former Wigan player James Worthington, who they see as a direct replacement for Sam Forrester and David Thompson who are both departing to pursue opportunities off the field.

Worthington comes highly recommended by former Haven boss Steve McCormack, who was his coach through the Wigan youth set-up.

As well as Wigan, Worthington has seen action on loan at Toulouse, Rochdale, Oldham and Workington Town.

Haven bosses see Worthington as an asset to the club as he can play across the backline. He scored two tries against Wakefield in his debut with Wigan.

Whitehaven RL has thanked Thompson and Forrester for their efforts. Assistant coach Jonty Gorley said: “I’m gutted that Sam has left us, but having had a few conversations with him I totally understand why he chose to call it a day with rugby league. Among other things, Sam has a long standing neck complaint which is still causing him some concern.

“Having known Sam since he was my neighbour as a 3 or 4 year old, I would like to think I know his temperament well enough to realise that he has other priorities above rugby league at the moment.”

“Sam has been great for the club, a popular lad among the players and coaches alike and always gave his best on the pitch, excelling at fullback or in the halves.”

Thompson arrived at Haven on dual registration before making the Recreation Ground a permanent home.