Whitehaven are still being held up in their efforts to bring an overseas player to boost their Championship squad.

The Recreation Ground club is waiting for visa arrangements to be sorted out in order for the player – a talented half-back – to fly over to join his new team-mates.

Haven have two Papua New Guinea players on the books, with both Dion Aiye and Jessie Joe Parker fixtures at the Recreation Ground for several years.

In fact, Parker did not fly home this winter but stayed in west Cumbria and is applying for British citizenship as he looks forward to a testimonial being confirmed by the Rugby Football League.

The latest target has played in England before and Whitehaven are hoping to sort out the visa arrangements early in the New Year.

They will certainly hope he’s over and settled in before the Ike Southward Memorial Trophy game against Workington Town on January 19, which is being staged at the Recreation Ground.

Haven actually open their pre-season campaign on Saturday, January 11, at Newcastle, and complete the build up with a home game against North Wales Crusaders on January 26.

That should have the squad in good fettle for the launch of their Championship programme on Sunday, February 2 against Swinton Lions.

Club chairman Tommy Todd said: “I think it’s fair to say there’s a buzz about the place and a lot of anticipation about our return to the Championship.

“We don’t need any reminding that it will be very tough in the Championship, because there are some really good teams in there but like a lot more people, I think we will be capable of surprising a few.

“Nobody gave us a chance of winning the League One title but it just showed what is possible when you get a committed group of players who are all on the same wavelength.”