Super League match preview: London Broncos v Widnes Vikings

Last Updated: 03/02/13 5:47pm

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Tony Rea begins another permanent reign in charge of the London Broncos with a fixture against the Widnes Vikings to start the 2013 Super League campaign.

The Londoners finished the 2012 season with momentum following Rea's arrival after Rob Powell sacking with the team bottom of the top-flight ladder.

Rea could hand league debuts to new signings Tommy Lee and Alex Hurst for the visit of the Vikings, who finished bottom of the Super League table in 2012.

Lee joined from the Huddersfield Giants while Hurst is formerly of the Swinton Lions. Former Australia international Craig Gower captains the side.

"All the 19 are capable with Tommy Lee and Alex Hurst potentially making their debuts," said head coach Tony Rea. "It's what they do with the shirts that count.

"Everyone has worked hard and we're looking forward to a contest. We know what we've got to do."

Widnes have been busier than most during the close-season with Kevin Brown and Gareth Hock joining Denis Betts' team.

Hock, who is on a season-long loan from the Wigan Warriors, and Brown however will both sit out Sunday's clash.

Eamon O'Carroll and Lloyd White make their comebacks from injury and there is a place for newcomer Phil Joseph in Betts' initial squad.

Former Great Britain international Betts is expecting a tough encounter in a capital and feels there are similarities between the clubs.

"Facing London away from home is a tough game to start the year off with and having somebody of the quality of Craig Gower in your side is always going to make you a force to be reckoned with," he said.

"Last season, there were plenty of similarities between the two clubs, in the sense that we both had a group of players who hadn't played too much together, it took time for us to find our feet and we were both struck down with plenty of injuries over the course of the year.

"As a group, we're a bit more solid and better prepared than we were 12 months ago and I know that London will be feeling exactly the same way, so it should be a great game."

London Broncos: Bailey, Bryant, Channing, Dixon, Dorn, Gower, Howell, Hurst, Kaufusi, Krasniqi, Lee, Lovell, Melling, O'Callaghan, Randall, Robertson, Rodney, Wheeldon, Whitt.

Widnes Vikings: Allen, Briscoe, Cahill, Clarke, Craven, Cross, Dean, Flynn, Gerrard, Hanbury, Isa, Joseph, Leuluai, Marsh, Mellor, O'Carroll, Pickersgill, White, Winterstein.

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