This season’s two surprise packages will contest the second Challenge Cup semi-final on Sunday in front of a sell-out crowd at the Leigh Sports Village.
Widnes last reached the cup final in 1993 and the Tigers’ last appearance at Wembley came the year before – both trips to the capital ended in defeat at the hands of Wigan.
Daryl Powell’s team have beaten Widnes twice already in Super League this season and are aiming for a fifth straight victory over the Vikings. They will have to do it without the services of Weller Hauraki and the free scoring Justin Carney, however, who are both suspended for the clash.
Carney was banned for two matches for a dangerous throw on London’s Thomas Minns in Sunday’s defeat of London and Hauraki had his appeal against his ban rejected by the RFL on Tuesday. The second-rower was suspended for two matches for striking with his knees a week earlier against Hull FC.
James Clare replaces Carney for Cas, who were without the winger for their quarter-final victory over Wigan. Meanwhile, Daryl Clark and Andy Lynch return to the side after being rested for last weeks game.
Denis Betts’ side notched up an impressive victory over Hull KR last Sunday are hoping to reach the final for a fifteenth time.
Ireland international Eamon O’Carroll returned to the side for Sunday’s win and retains his place in the 19 man squad, however Phil Joseph misses out.
Alex Gerrard, Ben Kavanagh, MacGraff LeuLuai and Liam Carberry have all been named in the Vikings provisional squad.
Widnes Vikings: Allen, Brown, Cahill, Carberry, Clarke, Dean, Flynn, Galea, Gerrard, Hanbury, Isa, Kavanagh, Leuluai, Marsh, Mellor, O’Carroll, Owens, Tickle, White
Castleford Tigers: Dixon, Shenton, Webster, Dorn, Sneyd, Lynch, Milner, Huby, Massey, Clark, Holmes, Mariano, Wheeldon, Ellis, Gibson, Clare, Finn, Jewitt, Carvell