Widnes forced in to changes

Widnes coach Paul Cullen will be forced into making at least two changes to his starting line up after a ruthless culling of his squad.

Experienced half-back James Webster has been released by the club following last week’s 30-16 defeat at Leigh, while James Ford has been told that he will not be considered for selection on Sunday and is free to talk to other clubs.

Dave Allen takes over as captain from Mark Smith with immediate effect.

Vikings chief executive Alex Bonney said: “Paul Cullen made it clear that there would be changes following recent performances which have fallen below his acceptable standards.

“His ambition for our club is to compete and win at the highest level. He knows what this will take, and he is willing to make some tough calls to get us there.”

Batley will travel to the Stobart Stadium in confident mood having demolished Whitehaven last week.

The Bulldogs won 54-6, scoring 10 tries as they recorded their third win in this year’s Co-operative Championship competition.

Coach Karl Harrison said: “It was the result of a month’s hard work.”

He added: “We’re coming to the time of year when our skill and speed starts to pay off. We saw it last week and I predict that it will get even better.”

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