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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Championship fixtures: Reaction of Whitehaven and Workington Town coaches

Workington Town will travel to Swinton Lions and Whitehaven entertain York City Knights when the Championship season gets underway on Sunday, February 3.

After both sides were promoted from Championship One last season, there are going to be no easy games next term, Town following their opener against former Haven coach Steve McCormack’s Lions with a home clash against one of the Championship favourites Halifax.

Haven will travel to Keighley for their second game before the TV cameras turn up at the Recre for the game against Leigh Centurions on Thursday, February 14, the first of their four planned appearances on satellite TV station Premier Sports.

Town will have to wait until the local derby with Haven at Derwent Park on Thursday, March 29 before appearing on Premier Sports, the return clash taking place down the road at Haven on June 23.

Town coach Gary Charlton said that the season couldn’t start soon enough, and added: “We’ve locked horns with Steve a few times at Swinton and he’ll have a very well-drilled side out. It’s going to be interesting.

“Every game’s going to be a challenge next year and we’ve got to perform week-in, week-out. All the teams in the Championship are going to be very good and will play their own different style of rugby. We just have to look after our own game and the sooner we can get that together, the better.”

Town will start the season without two props, their 2012 Player of the Year Jamie Thackray and Jamie Acton. Both players are banned [Thackray two games and Acton four]. And they will only be able to use one friendly to chalk a game off.

Haven coach Dave Woods was happy with his side’s opening game, and said: “York are like us and have recently had a few seasons in the Championship. But they have been disrupted of late with a new coach and new players coming in.

“It doesn’t matter who you play in the Championship – the games are going to be physical and fast and we’ve got to be ready to hit the ground running against York. We can’t afford to give anyone a start and it’s a good opportunity for us to get off to a good start at home.”

Woods added that the recruitment for next season was “pretty much done” now that Haven have signed two Papua New Guinea props who are hoping to travel back with Jessie Joe Parker. He added: “Terms have been agreed with two PNG props and contracts signed. But it’s out of our hands whether they will be given the go ahead to come to Whitehaven.”

Town and Haven won’t be involved in the group stages of the Northern Rail Cup next season. The top two teams from Championship One, following a group format stage, will join the 14 teams in the Championship for a straight knockout competition, the first round of which is due to take place on the weekend of May 18/19.

Workington Town league fixtures in full

Whitehaven league fixtures in full

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