Super League: Widnes Vikings v London Broncos preview
Last Updated: 15/02/14 6:50pm
New recruits Danny Tickle, Danny Galea and Paul Johnson are all set to make their Widnes debuts in Sunday's home fixture against London Broncos.
The Vikings kick off the campaign hoping to improve on last year's 10th place and face a team in their opening fixture that they defeated both home and away in 2013.
Tickle has arrived from Hull FC to try and aid their play-off push, and his presence will certainly give Denis Betts' side a reliable goal-kicking option.
Johnson is another former Airlie Bird now at the Select Security Stadium while Galea has been signed from NRL outfit Penrith Panthers.
Rhodri Lloyd, a loan signing from Wigan, is also in the home side's 19-man party, but another former Warrior in hooker Liam Carberry is missing after breaking his leg in pre-season.
London Broncos have almost a completely new squad for 2014, though coach Tony Rea is only set to give nine of his signings debuts this weekend.
New captain Matt Cook is one of just nine survivors from 2013, while academy product Harry Burnett is set to be given his Super League bow.
Carl Foster only arrived on loan from St Helens this week but looks set to go straight into the matchday 17. The prop is one of a number of young prospects the Broncos have borrowed off their top-flight rivals for this year.
"I'm excited for the guys playing in game one. It's a tremendous moment in any season; pre-season comes to an end and 17 blokes go from being a squad to a team," Rea told the club's official website.
"These guys have been through a lot together and Sunday's the reason why they have. We look forward to them competing and working well together."
Widnes: K. Brown, Cahill, Craven, Dean, Flynn, Galea, Gerrard, Gilmore, Hanbury, Isa, Johnson, Joseph, Leuluai, Lloyd, Marsh, Mellor, Owens, Tickle, White.
London Broncos: Atkins, Bishay, Caton-Brown, Cook, Cunningham, Forster, Foster, Gigot, Griffin, Burnett, Krasniqi, Lovell, Mataitonga, McMeeken, Minns, Moore, O'Callaghan, Wicks, Woodburn-Hall.
Super League 2014, round one
Kirk Dixon passed the one thousand point mark for Castleford who got their campaign off to a winning start with victory at Bradford.
Tom Briscoe scored a debut hat-trick as Leeds beat Hull KR 34-6 in front of a record crowd at the KC Lightstream Stadium.
Salford won their first game of the new season after handing debuts to all 13 of their starting line up against Wakefield.
- Dixon 'the ultimate pro'
- Noble happy with opening win
- Betts: Tougher tasks ahead
- McDermott praise for Briscoe
- Vikings on the rampage
- Salford start with victory
- Briscoe stars for Rhinos
- Tigers rally to beat Bulls
- Cummins allays turmoil fears
- Radford relieved at narrow win
- Hull cling on for victory
- Red Devils v Wildcats: Teams
- Bulls v Tigers: Teams
- Hull KR v Rhinos: Teams
- Walsh: Good start for Saints
- Saints storm past Wolves
- Hull v Catalan Dragons: Teams
- Wolves v Saints: Teams
- Rovers to set crowd record
- Wellens: new boys boost Saints
- Forward thinking from Wolves