One of Newcastle Thunder’s most experienced players Misi Taulapapa won’t feature at the Recreation Ground on Sunday.

The 37-year-old Samoan international is serving a four-match ban for using inappropriate language towards an opposition player during a game against Coventry Bears in February.

Taulapapa pleaded guilty to the charge and expressed his regret at having used the words that he did. He understands how his words could have been taken out of context but reaffirmed that there was no intolerance intended by what was said.

The club stood him down from the last BetFred League One match that Newcastle played against Oldham.

He will subsequently miss the League On games versus Whitehaven and Keighley and the 1895 Cup versus Keighley, with the Oldham game counting towards the ban. He will next be available to play against Hunslet on May 26.

Taulapapa, who can play anywhere in the three quarters, made over 160 appearances for Sheffield Eagles and also another 66 for Featherstone Rovers before joining Newcastle.

Whitehaven were assessing their squad’s fitness at last night’s training session, hoping that Chris Taylor will be able to resume against Thunder.

He missed most of the Hunslet game with a sciatic nerve problem and had a couple of other niggles in the derby game at Town on Good Friday but did see through the 80 minutes.

Andrew Bulman, Dave Thompson and Ethan Kelly are the long-term concerns but all should be back in contention next month.

Coach Gary Charlton said: “Andrew has been training for a week and Thommo for a bit longer and Ethan gets the pot off his arm this week, so I’m hoping it won’t be too long before they are all up for selection.

“Fingers crossed they could be ready for the Oldham game in the 1895 Cup a week on Sunday.”