Whitehaven player-coach Carl Forster plans to take his full squad to Keighley for Sunday’s opening pre-season game.

Forster wants to give opportunities to all the players, ahead of the first competitive match and might even decide to use a different 13 players in each half.

Among the squad will be west Cumbrian Lewis Brown, who has joined Whitehaven on a three-month loan deal from Salford Red Devils.

The 18-year-old former Seaton amateur is under contract at Salford but will be short of game time as there is no longer Academy rugby for him or others of similar age.

He had an offer from Workington Town before deciding to link up with their west Cumbrian neighbours and he has been training with Forster’s men at the Recreation Ground.

Whitehaven chairman Tommy Todd said: “We have an arrangement with Salford that Lewis will be with us for three months and then we will look at how things have gone.”

Coach Forster was at Lawkholme Lane on Sunday to watch Keighley in action as they scored 16 tries in a romp against the amateur side Hunslet Warriors.

Keighley have a virtually new squad for 2017 and have gone from one of the favourites to contest a top two place, to dark horses for a promotion place.

The Cougars did end 2016 by winning the League One Cup for which Barrow have been installed as favourites to land this year’s renewal.

Toronto Wolfpack are not contesting the League Cup but they are odds on favourites to win the league, and they will provide Whitehaven with their first opposition at the Recreation Ground on March 12.

But the Canadians have just suffered two set-backs with regard to players who won’t now be joining them for their launch season.

Kent-born Toby Everett, a 6ft 3ins prop forward, had joined on a season-long loan from London Broncos but has gone back on discovering he needs a six-month rehabilitation to deal with a knee injury.

The other departure is American-born prop forward Jerome Veve, who had spent the past two seasons with the Gold Coast Titans of the NRL.

He has cited personal reasons as to why he’s opted out of playing for the Wolfpack this coming season.