Preview: Widnes v Keighley

Vikings will have to cope without winger Shaun Ainscough after he joined Castleford Tigers on a month-long loan deal.

Widnes coach Paul Cullen said: “It dovetails very nicely for us because we now have several of our own players either ready or very close to a return from injury.”

Paddy Flynn remains a week away from fitness while Steve Pickersgill and Gareth Haggerty are also doubtful. However, Richard Varkulis is available for selection.

Cougars coach Barry Eaton is hoping for good news on Danny Jones (forearm) and Dalley Williams (back) ahead of his side’s first game in the Co-operative Championship.

Last year Keighley earned promotion from Co-operative Championship One and Eaton has acknowledged the step up in competition.

He said: “One of the reasons we brought in a new conditioner is because of the difference in strength and athletic ability at Championship level.

“There are lots of players who have played in Super League for many years who are playing in the Championship. There are also dual registration players involved. It’s a big step up, certainly in terms of preparation and the way players are looked after.”

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