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Super League: Widnes v Hull FC preview
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Widnes host Hull FC at the Select Security Stadium on Friday looking to do the double over the Airlie Birds this season.
The Vikings triumphed 7-0 in the reverse fixture and go into this game on a high, following the 56-6 Challenge Cup quarter-final victory against Keighley Cougars last time.
Widnes skipper Jon Clarke has been declared fit to play and coach Denis Betts will restore him to his hooking berth this week.
Kiwi enforcer Hep Cahill is back in the squad after being out of action for a number of weeks following nerve damage to his neck, while Paddy Flynn also returns after serving his two match suspension, as does prop Phil Joseph.
Betts told the club’s official website: “We came out alright through the Keighley game last week, and one of the key things in those kind of games is making sure that you don’t get any knocks or tears that are going to keep players out.
“I’m pleased we got through to the other side of that without any major damage and we’re going to need that as well coming into this next week. The Easter period is hard but I think we’ve been given a task as tough as this in a long time.”
He added: “Hep Cahill is up for selection, as is Phil Joseph and Jon Clarke. Paddy Flynn is back in the team this week after his ban as well so getting these kinds of players back now is good for the team going forward.”
Hull FC have made just one change to their 19-man squad, with young prop Liam Watts rewarded for a strong performance as a late call-up in the 50-12 win over London Broncos last time.
The 23-year old takes the place of Dean Hadley, who drops out of contention.
New Zealand international world cup winner Setaimata Sa, whose minor groin injury saw him replaced by Watts late last week, has returned to full fitness to feature.
Widnes Vikings: Allen, Brown, Cahill, Clarke, Clough, Craven, Dean, Galea, Gilmore, Flynn, Hanbury, Johnson, Joseph, Kavanagh, Leuluai, Marsh, Owens, Tickle, White.
Hull FC: Bowden, Crooks, Ellis, Heremaia, Horne, Houghton, Lancaster, Miller, Paea, Paleaaesina, Rankin, Sa, Shaul, Talanoa, Thompson, Tuson, Watts, Westerman, Yeaman.
Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||22||20|
|11||Salford Red Devils||22||17|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||22||4|
|Thursday 31st July|
|20:00||Wigan vs Salford|
|Friday 1st August|
|20:00||Hull vs St Helens|
|20:00||Catalan Dragons vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Bradford|
|Sunday 3rd August|
|15:00||Widnes vs Hull K R|
|15:00||Wakefield vs Huddersfield|
|15:30||Castleford vs London Broncos|
|Thursday 14th August|
|20:00||Hull K R vs Wigan|
|Friday 15th August|
|20:00||Salford vs Catalan Dragons|
|20:00||Warrington vs Castleford|
|Sunday 27th July|
|Huddersfield 38 - 16 Catalan Dragons|
|Bradford 16 - 8 Wigan|
|Warrington 26 - 40 Wakefield|
|Saturday 26th July|
|London Broncos 10 - 62 Hull K R|
|Friday 25th July|
|Salford 18 - 22 Leeds|
|St Helens 44 - 22 Widnes|
|Thursday 24th July|
|Hull 18 - 18 Castleford|
|Sunday 20th July|
|Hull K R 18 - 38 Salford|
|Huddersfield 52 - 26 Bradford|
|Saturday 19th July|
|Catalan Dragons 40 - 6 Wakefield|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Stevo with skysports.com