Whitehaven are pushing ahead with plans to run a reserve team from next season.

The creation of a reserve structure at the club was part of the five-year strategy mapped out at last Friday’s open meeting at the Recreation Ground. Whitehaven’s board of directors firmly believe a reserve grade is a vital component in the club’s goal of having a predominantly local side which can sustain Championship rugby.

A club spokesman said: “We will be attending a meeting late next week, from which, it is expected we will know more about the potential structure of the reserves in 2020. In the meantime, the club intends to arrange a meeting with the local community clubs for some time in late May. Funding initiatives for the reserves are already under way and the club would ask all those who are interested in supporting the club in providing a pathway for the best local talent to get in touch.”

A meeting in Brighouse last week approved the idea of a reserve grade being introduced from 2020 and they have agreed to meet again next Thursday when Championship and League One clubs will hear the proposals. Involvement in a second-team league structure is likely to be made compulsory for Super League clubs.

That might not apply to clubs below the top-tier but as many as possible are being asked to attend next Thursday’s meeting. The Super League clubs will meet again on May 23 to discuss further developments. Meanwhile, there have been important changes to three of Whitehaven’s fixtures in League One. Whitehaven have reversed fixtures with Coventry Bears while the game against Doncaster will be played at Featherstone Rovers’ ground.

Chairman Tommy Todd said: “Coventry approached to see if we could help them by reversing the two respective fixtures. Their usual ground is being re-seeded and it would help them if we could switch the fixtures. There was no reason not to help them so the board agreed.” Coventry Bears will now visit the Recreation Ground on June 9.