Whitehaven will make their earliest-ever start to play a league game when they visit Llanelli on Sunday.

West Wales Raiders were unable to play the game on the original date included in the fixtures. It had been earmarked for the Saturday but there was a football match on the pitch for that date, and it took preference.

Raiders, who had planned to play all their home games on a Saturday, then had to contact Whitehaven to see if they could play 24 hours later.

Haven chairman Tommy Todd said: “When the fixtures came out our lads had booked time off on the Friday to travel to Wales for the Saturday afternoon game.

“So when the switch was confirmed it was going to pose a problem for our lads.

“We have been discussing the options with West Wales and the Rugby Football League and finally we got approval for an 11am kick-off. It does mean the lads can get back into west Cumbria at a reasonable time on the Sunday night.”

West Wales have lost all four games, and would be bottom again but for the 12 points that Keighley Cougars had docked.

Haven chairman Todd, like the club coach Gary Charlton, insists there has to be no complacency from the Whitehaven players.

“It was a terrific performance on Sunday against Doncaster and we have to try and emulate that in our subsequent games,” said Todd. “We have pace to burn out wide and a very strong pack to take us forward and, as long as we can stay consistent, we should do well.”

Whitehaven are currently in a share of second place with five other teams, but a win on Sunday with results elsewhere going to form, should see them in a three-way tie for second.

Two of the sides currently alongside – Workington Town and Newcastle Thunder meet at Derwent Park; Doncaster don’t have a game; Oldham will be expected to beat London Skolars while Coventry Bears visit 100 per cent leaders Hunslet.

West Wales lost 56-6 at Newcastle over the weekend as the north-east club have confirmed that former Widnes coach Denis Betts has joined them as director of rugby.