THE Bulls can expect to be put to the test on and off the pitch when they head for Cumbria tomorrow.

John Kear’s side make one of their longest trips of the Championship schedule with a first visit to Whitehaven for three years.

It’s not just the prospect of toppling promoted Haven at the Recreation Ground but also the logistics of the travel under Covid guidelines.

“There will be things thrown up but you’ve got to get on with it,” said Kear.

“It’s a long way and you like to eat a pre-match about three-and-a-half to four hours before the game. We’ll have to prepare our own.

“We usually stop off on the way there and the food is prepared. We aren’t able to do that this time so the players or their partners will have to do some cooking to make sure they have some pasta to fuel them up for the game and are properly hydrated.

“When we’re up there, the changing rooms will have to be adapted because they are very small at Whitehaven. There’s plenty to think about but we’re just happy to be playing.”

Whitehaven, who will be without injured former Bulls full back Gregg McNally, registered their first Championship win when they saw off fellow new boys Newcastle.

Kear added: “I’ve read what their coach (Gary Charlton) has said about targeting certain games. He feels their home record will be crucial to achieving their goal of staying in the division.

“We know they will be focused on trying to knock us off. He did rest some players for the last game against Featherstone.

“Obviously, they’ll be lining us up as one of the targeted games and I understand that.

“They haven’t lost a home game yet – they beat Dewsbury in the Challenge Cup and Newcastle in the Championship.

“It’s going to be a challenge but hopefully we will be able to meet that.

“If we want consistency, we’ve got to make sure that week in, week out we come with our A game prepared to play. It’s no different this week.”

The Bulls last visited the Recreation Ground during their season in League One in 2018 and came away with a 27-20 win thanks to a late try from Vila Halafihi.

“It was a difficult game and they were also one of the few teams to beat York in League One,” said Kear. “It’s always a challenge to go to Cumbria and it’s my job to make sure the players are fully aware of that.”