Seeds waits on Hill for Haven

Whitehaven coach David Seeds will give a late fitness test to Howard Hill (quad) before finalising his team to face Rochdale Hornets in Sunday’s Co-operative Championship One opener.

‘Haven have won just one of their four competitive fixtures in 2011, but Seeds said: “We’re two games down on what we’d anticipated after our friendly against Leeds was called off and our Northern Rail Cup game with Halifax was postponed.

“It would have been nice to get those under our belts, but we were up against a very good Lezignan side last week and our effort and commitment was great.”

Seeds has been doing his research as Whitehaven prepare for life after relegation from the Co-operative Championship.

“I’ve seen Swinton in the flesh against Barrow, we’ve played Oldham twice, and we’ve been beaten by Workington twice.

“We know the standard of the rugby we’re playing, and we know that if we don’t turn up on any given Sunday we’ll come away with our tails between our legs.

“The physicality is the big difference (between Championship One and the Championship). Championship One is a very level competition – Swinton, Oldham, Keighley, Rochdale, Workington and Doncaster are all going to be there or thereabouts.”

Rochdale’s Paul Crook is expected to play despite carrying a dead leg through last week’s Carnegie Challenge Cup win over Workington.

But prop Dave Newton is suspended after being found guilty of striking an opponent with his forearm during a recent match with Doncaster.

Hornets coach John Stankevitch said: “History shows that travelling to Cumbria is always a big task.

“Whitehaven are going through some big changes at the minute, and they’ve had a bit of disruption, but they’ve still got some quality players.

“Sice at nine, McAvoy in the centre… and Tane Manihera has loads of experience. They’ve got some talent in there, but we’re going up with a load of confidence from last week and we know we’ve got the players to score points.”

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