Super League preview: Salford City Reds v Widnes Vikings

Last updated: 4th September 2013  

Gareth Hock Widnes Rugby league

Gareth Hock: On-loan star to make his farewell appearance for the Vikings at Salford

Ashley Gibson Salford City Reds Rugby League

Ashley Gibson: Will make his final appearance for Salford before joining Castleford next season

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Salford play their final game as the City Reds ahead of being rebranded the Red Devils when they tackle the Widnes Vikings on home soil on Friday.

City Reds owner Dr Marwan Koukash is an ambitious individual and he will be expecting much more from the Greater Manchester club next season with a number of signings already made.

Widnes have been one of the most improved teams in 2013 and while the Vikings have missed out on the play-offs they have a number of notable scalps to their name this year.

Salford could yet finish bottom if they lose and the London Broncos win at Hull KR on Sunday while Widnes could end the season as high as ninth if they claim the points at the City of Salford Stadium.

The spoils have been shared so far this season with the Vikings securing a 58-24 success on home soil in round 11 before the City Reds exacted a measure of revenge by winning 28-22 at the Magic Weekend.

Salford's out-of-contract players will be eager to impress on Friday to prove to coach Brian Noble they have a future at the club.

Final appearances

Centre Ashley Gibson and on-loan Lee Gaskell will make their final appearances for the City Reds. Gibson is joining Castleford next season while Gaskell has signed a two-year deal with Bradford.

Vikings head coach Denis Betts has made one change to his 19-man squad with youngster Paddy Flynn replacing experienced forward Ben Cross.

The Australia, formerly of the Leeds Rhinos and Wigan Warriors, has played his final game for the club as he is due to retire from rugby league at the end of the season.

Gareth Hock, who is due to join the Parramatta Eels next season, has spent the year at Widnes on loan from Wigan and will also play his last game for Betts' men.

Rhys Hanbury will make his 50th appearance for the club in Friday's clash while Patrick Ah Van and Cameron Phelps should make their 40th appearances.

Salford City Reds: Gaskell, D. Williams, McGoldrick, Gibson, Evalds, Sneyd, Fages, A. Walne, Broughton, Emmitt, Davies, Dixon, Wild, J. Walne, Ashurst, Owen, Griffin, James, Hope.

Widnes Vikings: Ah Van, Allen, K. Brown, Flynn, Hanbury, Hulme, Hock, Isa, Joseph, Kavanagh, Lawton, Leuluai, Craven, Mellor, O'Carroll, Owens, Phelps, White, Winterstein.