Widnes Vikings host Leeds Rhinos in what looks to be their last attempt to remain in Super League. Here’s everything you need to know…
Interim coach Francis Cummins makes five changes from the side who were defeated 42-22 away in France against Toulouse. These five changes include a potential debut to Joe Lyons, while Owen Buckley, Charlie Gubb, Danny Walker and Sam Wilde are also included.
Both Tom Gilmore and Chris Dean miss out due to small knocks and Gil Dudson suffered an injury in last weekend’s defeat, with Alex Gerrard and Danny Craven the other two players to miss out.
Widnes vitally need the victory after three defeats from three matches, including a home defeat to Championship side London Broncos.
Widnes 19-man squad: Ah Van, Buckley, J Chapelhow, Finn, Gubb, Hansen, Hauraki, Heremaia, Houston, Inu, Leuluai, Lyons, Mellor, Olbsion, Runciman, D Walker, White, Whitley, Wilde.
Leeds suffered their first defeat in the qualifers in an entertaining 38-36 home contest against Hull KR.
Director of Rugby Kevin Sinfield has made four changes from last weekend with Dom Crosby, Cameron Smith, Jimmy Keinhorst and Mikolaj Oldezki all included in the 19 man squad.
Carl Ablett suffered a knee injury which rules him out for this match along with the rest of the season, while Ashton Golding, Adam Cuthbertson and Josh Walters haven’t been selected.
Leeds 19-man squad: T Briscoe, L Briscoe, Crosby, Dwyer, Ferres, Jones-Buchanan, Sutcliffe, Moon, Myler, Parcel, Singleton, Ward, Mullally, Keinhorst, Peteru, Walker, Smith, Oledzki, Thompson.
Leeds have struggled to win at the Halton Stadium in recent meetings, with Widnes beating the Rhinos on five of the last six meetings at home.
However, Leeds did record their first victory there since 2014 earlier in the year, with a 23-20 victory in the Challenge Cup.
The sides are one win apiece at this location this year, but Leeds played the Super League clash the week after returning from Australia after playing in the World Club Challenge.
KEY BATTLE – Jay Chaplehow vs Brad Singleton
Often on the artificial surface the key is through quick play the balls and yardage gained by the forwards. Jay Chaplehow has been a fairly consistent performer and looks the type of player which will be acquired by a Super League side if Widnes are unable to survive, making a lot of metres after contact and looking to offload to supporting players.
Similarly Singleton does the same with his offloads, allowing him to set up moves for supporting players such as Matt Parcell and Richie Myler.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Sunday 9th September
Venue: Halton Stadium
Referee: Chris Kendall