WIDNES VIKINGS V WIGAN WARRIORS PREVIEW

Super League XX kicks off on Thursday night as Widnes Vikings entertain last year’s beaten Grand Finalists Wigan Warriors.

Denis Betts’ side reached the Play-Offs themselves last season for the first time in the Super League era.

The Vikings include new signings Aaron Heremaia, Manese Manuokafoa and Leeds loanee Chris Clarkson in their 19 man squad, which features 8 ex-Wigan players. However, Gil Dudson is unavailable to face his former club.

Shaun Wane names new signings Taulima Tautai and Larne Patrick in his 19 man squad, while Ben Flower is banned for the first 10 games of the season after picking a red card for punching Lance Hohaia during last season’s Grand Final defeat.

Scrum-half Sam Powell is included in Wane’s squad after returning from injury Workington in a trial match last week.

Widnes defeated Wigan in this fixture in the league back in August by 24 points to 10, but that was 1 of only 2 victories the Vikings have enjoyed over the Cherry and Whites in their last 8 meetings.

Widnes (from): Ah Van, Brown, Cahill, Carberry, Clarkson, Craven, Dean, Gerrard, Hanbury, Heremaia, Hulme, Isa, Kavanagh, Manuokafoa, Marsh, Mellor, O’Carroll, Phelps, Tickle.

Wigan (from): Bateman, Bowen, Burgess, Charnley, Clubb, Crosby, L. Farrell, C. Farrell, Gelling, McIlorum, O’Loughlin, Patrick, Powell, Smith, Sutton, Tautai, J. Tomkins, L. Tomkins, Williams.

Referee: James Child

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