Whitehaven coach talks Briers and dual-reg

Whitehaven coach Dave Woods says they’ll treat Lee Briers just like any other player when the Warrington stand-off lines up against them for Swinton on Thursday night.

Briers, 34, has been included in Gary Chambers’ 19-man squad on a dual-registration basis as he continues his recovery from injury, which has seen him absent since the second round of Super League.

A defeat could see Whitehaven slip out of the Championship play-off places, depending on how results go elsewhere this weekend, while Swinton are looking to get out of the relegaton zone.

Woods said: “He’s just another player, albeit with an exceptional kicking game.

“You’ve just got to play whoever you’re up against, that’s the rule. They’ve got five dual-reg and a number that have been transferred over from Warrington. If that’s the way they want to play it, that’s up to them, we are just going there to play against 17 blokes.”

Swinton’s link up with Warrington has caught the attention under the controversial new partnership system, formulated following the re-structuring of the game under first team level.

Five Wolves youngsters were transferred to Swinton earlier this season on one-year deals, and there was confusion recently when it was announced that one of those youngsters, James Mendeika, had made a loan move from Warrington to London Broncos.

Whitehaven, who have a link-up with St Helens, have used dual-reg players sparingly this season, although have called upon the services of Ade Gardner and Tommy Makinson during this campaign.

Woods added: “We’ve used it, but I think we’ve used it pretty fairly.

“I think it needs to be worked out by the RFL properly so that it’s fair and even right across the board, and everyone knows the rules from day one, and how you can and can’t use the system.

“This transferring players to clubs and back is a bit strange.

“Our location makes it more difficult for us to attract players to come, whereas in West Yorkshire and clubs down that way, it’s easier for them to get a bloke and they’re there in 10-15 minutes.”

Entry for Thursday night’s game at the Leigh Sports Village, televised live by Premier Sports, is just £5 for adults.

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