Whitehaven will have a sprinkling of extra hometown support as they take on Newcastle Thunder this weekend.

Not only are Haven taking two coach-loads of supporters over to the North East for the League One clash, but they will also be cheered-on by representatives from the local Kells club.

Newcastle have organised a curtain raiser ahead of Sunday’s tasty league fixture with Kells Under-16s taking on their age group contemporaries from the Yarm club.

Thunder, who now come under the umbrella of the Falcons rugby union club, seem better equipped now for the challenge of professional rugby since their move to Kingston Park.

They were quoted pre-season by the bookies as second favourites behind Oldham to win the League One title but it’s been Whitehaven who have set the pace over the first-half of the season.

They hold a three point lead over Hunslet at the top and are six points better off than Newcastle who are fifth in the table.

Every win that Whitehaven can notch against the teams currently in play-off positions will take them a step nearer the title and automatic promotion.

Thunder, originally based in Gateshead, are in line to record their best season and will offer a stern test to Whitehaven and the other title hopefuls over the second half of fixtures.

Coach Gary Charlton said: “They looked a good side at the Recreation Ground in that 12-12 draw so will obviously offer a big threat on their own ground.

“We will have to do a whole lot better than we did on Sunday, particularly in the first half.”

Whitehaven have just confirmed that their League One clash at Hunslet has been moved from a Sunday fixture to a Saturday.

The West Cumbrians should have gone to the South Leeds Stadium on Sunday, July 21 but will now play on Saturday, July 27.