DAVID Cairns believes both the Furness Raiders and Barrow Raiders squads will benefit from the two training with each other this weekend.

The under-19s have trained with the senior side on several occasions during Paul Crarey’s time as Barrow head coach, including opposed sessions to give the first-team an opportunity to practise goal-line defence.

It will be a similar story on Saturday, with the Furness players also heading to the sand-dunes at Roanhead Beach to join the professionals for one of their infamous pre-season conditioning sessions.

Former Barrow half-back Cairns is in no doubt the youngsters will gain from being around Betfred Championship players, but knows from his own experiences how the presence of younger players can help drive the established professionals on as well.

“It’s really important,” said Cairns. “I’ve always said, if you’re a lad who is living in Wigan aged 16 or 17 and you get a chance to train with Wigan first-team, that will bring players on a lot quicker than just training with their own peer group.

“Their young lads are training with Sean O’Loughlin and people like that, and at Barrow they’ll be training with the likes of Gareth Hock and these guys. It makes them step up because they’re training with ex-internationals and they have to (step up).

“It’s also good for the older guys because when I was playing, if some young lads came in the changing room it gave everyone a buzz thinking ‘who’s this kid? Is he after my place?’

“I think it gives everyone a good lift and it’s good we can do it.”

Furness do not have another game in the College Rugby League Premier Division until January 16, when they travel to another of the high-flyers in Wakefield College.

They will have some time off over Christmas and although the Raiders will be back training soon after, Cairns is wary of placing too many demands on the squad as they will be back doing pre-season training with their amateur clubs ahead of the 2019 season.

“What’s going to happen now is they’re going to start training with their amateur clubs, so we don’t want to be really training too much with them if they’re doing that,” said Cairns.

“We have to look at what we’re doing with them because I don’t want to run the legs off these lads and put too much pressure on them.

“It’s also about finishing work, getting your gear and coming down – there’s a lot more involved than just running around at training for an hour. I’m wary of not giving them too much to do.”