Ellis Gillam, another of Whitehaven’s gifted young forwards, has committed himself to the Recreation Ground club for another year.

Back in training ahead of their return to the Championship, Haven are putting together a young and talented squad, prepared to take on the big challenge ahead.

Barrow-born Gillam has signed a one-year deal until the end of 2020 and alongside Jake Moore, Brett Phillips and Connor Holliday is in a group of highly mobile and talented second-row forwards who are all signed up for the new season.

Gillam first signed for the club for the 2018 season after previously being with Warrington Wolves where he was the Academy captain, and for Haven he made a positive impact scoring seven tries in 28 appearances.

When Carl Forster left to take on the coaching role at Rochdale Hornets Gillam followed for the start of 2019 and made 14 appearances for them, scoring one try.

However, when Forster departed Rochdale, he also returned to the Recreation Ground making his second debut in a crucial home victory over Oldham. He went to make five appearances in Haven colours at the back end of the season.

After committing to the Haven cause for another year, Gillam said: “It takes leaving somewhere to appreciate what you have and how much more enjoyable it is when you are playing with a group of mates.

“I learned that last season and when I got the chance to come back part way through the season I jumped at it. We are a very tight knit group and we look out for each other. That means you enjoy playing your rugby and everyone including coaches and backroom staff buy in to the same goals.

“I love the club and the fans and enjoy my time here so it was an easy decision to sign again. Charlo, Jonty and Macca all help to improve my game. I think we will surprise a few teams next season. We expect it to be tough but are confident that we can survive the challenge.”

Assistant coach Jonty Gorley is a Gillam fan and said: “He is only young but is a quality back-row and a player with great attributes on and off the pitch.”

“Like Ethan Kelly he came to us part way through the season and although we had back row cover we couldn’t miss out on a talent like Ellis.

“He had been at Haven before playing in the Championship and I saw in his first session back with us that his fitness levels were good and he fitted right in with the squad. To have him back at Whitehaven for another year is a great bit of business by the club.”