Whitehaven RLFC have revealed plans to launch a rugby league 'centre of excellence' in partnership with Super League's Hull FC.

The two clubs hope to improve the pathway for talented west Cumbrian players to reach the top flight.

A statement released by Haven on Saturday night said: "The club can tonight officially announce that, after a good number of months of working together, Whitehaven RLFC and Hull FC are to form a partnership which will see a centre of excellence be ran out of west Cumbria.

"This will see an opportunity for the area's youth to be part of a development academy side starting in the academic year 2022/23.

"Cumbria is a hotbed of rugby league talent, as has been showcased for over 70 years now, and both clubs see this partnership better able to provide a pathway for those who hold ambitions of one day playing in Super League.

"Andrew Canavan, the Whitehaven CEO, wishes to put on record his gratitude to Lee and also James Clark the Hull FC CEO for their work and support in bringing this to fruition.

"We see the centre of excellence as a vital component to the area and, with the backing of the community clubs, this should hopefully benefit the local game as a whole in a big way.

"There will be development days announced soon, along with the appointment of the club's new head of youth development."

Hull's Lee Crooks added: “To partner up with Whitehaven RLFC to create a clear pathway for young 16 to 18 year olds to develop and aspire to achieve their potential is a big achievement for the club, especially as it's an area renowned for its talent.

"We are looking to help develop players in west Cumbria to benefit not just Hull FC but also Whitehaven, Workington and the wider community game in general.

"This won’t happen overnight, but it has the potential to have a significant impact on rugby league in the whole area.”