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Super League: Widnes Vikings v London Broncos preview
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London Broncos will be without Jamie Soward for Friday's trip to Widnes - but head coach Tony Rea insists he's not resting the half-back for the Tetley's Challenge Cup.
The Australian, signed on a short-term contract from St George Illawarra, helped the Broncos reach the last four of the knock-out competition with a try, two goals and a drop goal in their 29-10 victory over Sheffield Eagles.
That result leaves the capital club just one more win away from a trip to Wembley, though Wigan Warriors stand in their way.
They will take on the current Super League leaders at Leigh on July 27 for a place in the final, though Rea says Soward will miss the clash with the Vikings beforehand due to injury.
"We genuinely have some bad knocks," the Broncos boss said. "We're not resting anybody this week.
"Soward has travelled from Australia, he's travelled to France and we've had a long trip to Sheffield because of the bus journey.
"He's done a real lot of travelling and he's stiffened up during the week.
"Given his workload and what he's been asked to come in and do, his back was untrainable today (Wednesday) so there was no way, given the number of miles he's travelled, that he could compete in this game safely."
The visitors are also without stand-off Michael Witt (calf), captain Tony Clubb (knee) and winger Michael Robertson (hip and knee).
Rea has added on-loan forward Jacob Fairbank, who was ineligible to play against the Eagles, to his 19-man squad, while centre Ryan Shaw, who has joined on loan from Swinton, is set to be handed his debut.
Widnes, meanwhile, saw their Wembley dreams dashed on Monday night when they went down 48-4 to the Warriors in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
Coach Denis Betts has had to deal with a short turnaround for his squad, though he makes just one change with Cameron Phelps replacing Patrick Ah Van.
The Vikings will be looking to complete the double over the Broncos, having won 28-14 at the Twickenham Stoop on the opening weekend of the season.
Widnes Vikings: Allen, K. Brown, Cahill, Clarke, Craven, Gerrard, Gore, Hanbury, Isa, Joseph, Kavanagh, Lawton, Leuluai, Marsh, Mellor, O'Carroll, Owens, Phelps, Winterstein.
London Broncos: Bryant, Colbon, Dollapi, Fairbank, Fisher, Grady, Hurst, Kaufusi, Krasniqi, Lee, Lloyd, McMeeken, Melling, O'Callaghan, Shaw, Rodney, Woodburn-Hall, Wheeldon, Wicks.
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First Utility Super League Table
|5||Hull K R||0||0|
|7||Salford Red Devils||0||0|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
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