Varkulis doubt for Whitehaven

Richard Varkulis is a major doubt for Whitehaven after suffering a knee injury against Doncaster last week.

Lee Doran returns from suspension and Scott McAvoy could also feature, but Craig Calvert (neck) is far from certain to play.

Rochdale HornetsPaul Brearley is suspended, but coach John Stankevitch hopes to take an otherwise full-strength squad to Whitehaven as he searches for a second Co-operative Championship One win of the year.

Stankevitch said: “Hopefully Dave Newton will be fit, and if he is he’ll go into the 17-man squad.

“Dave did his bicep in the Dewsbury game. He’s got a massive bruise on it and couldn’t take any contact last week, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed. We’ll assess him fully on Friday.”

Despite Rochdale’s 36-4 win over London, Stankevitch insists there is more to come from his side.

He said: “Our completion rate was only 45 per cent, so there are things to improve.

“We need to be a bit more ruthless and clinical than that when we go away to the likes of Whitehaven. We’ll go there confident, but not arrogant.”

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