Whitehaven's latest World Cup star Larsen Marabe has received his visa and the countdown to his arrival at the Recre is underway.
“He has been on the phone practically every day and I’m really pleased that is has all been sorted out fairly quickly.
“It’s really refreshing that he seems so excited about coming to Whitehaven. By all accounts he is a strong, robust forward, and he has been prominent for Papua New Guinea over recent years.”
His PNG team-mate Jessie Joe Parker is still awaiting his visa but as a seasoned international who proved one of his country’s top performers in the World Cup, no delays are anticipated.
Ideally, coach Dave Woods would like both players on board ahead of forthcoming friendlies against Gateshead and St Helens.
Thunder look set to be without ex-Haven second-row Rhys Clarke for their Recre visit after he suffered a broken leg.
Clarke made 27 appearances for Haven in 2013, missing just three games, and he was given the chance to extend his stay. But the Geordie opted to play closer to home to focus on his RL coaching business.
“He has been training really well and I had seen a few things in him to suggest that he would be a really good player this season,” said Gateshead coach Stanley Gene.
“His attitude had been spot-on and hopefully he will heal up quickly and be back soon.