Betts relieved to see Tickle and Brown back in Widnes squad

Widnes coach Denis Betts is pleased to have some key players in his squad for Thursday night’s home game against Warrington Wolves.

Stand-off Kevin Brown and pivot Lloyd White are included in his 19-man squad, while Danny Tickle is also expected to play some part, before undergoing surgery on Saturday on his injured groin.

“We’ve had a bit of chance to get some lads up and running this week,” he said.

“So Danny Tickle will take part this week on Thursday – he has an operation on Saturday.

“But he’s not in that bad a shape, so he’s going to be in the 19 and we’ll see how he fares over the next couple of days.

“That’s because I’ve lost Chris Clarkson, for how long, I’m not sure yet, we’re still waiting on some scans and him seeing a specialist about his thumb.

“I can’t give you a timescale. There’s something broken in there, but there’s a little bit more in there as well.

“He’s had some problems with that thumb before. We’re not presuming anything on that.

Kevin Brown will be okay, and Lloyd White will be okay, so it gives us a little bit more experience, organisation and leadership in the team.

“They’re the real positives to come back in for Thursday.”

Paddy Flynn is not available over Easter, with a hamstring problem likely to keep him out for at least two or three weeks.

Betts acknowledges that the challenges of managing his squad over the Easter period centre on players recovering in time for their next test.

“From my point of view at the moment, it’s about sitting down and understanding that there’s still a long way to go, and making sure that we’ve still got fit bodies week-in and week-out,” he said.

“The Challenge Cup is starting in a few weeks, and then there’s some really tough games after this Easter period.

“We need to make sure that we don’t break ourselves and end up shuffling our pack constantly.

“The hardest thing I’ve got from a coaching view this Easter is how we actually use this time to get some points on the board, but also not break our players.”

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