Super League preview: Warrington
Last Updated: 03/02/13 2:29pm
Paul Wood: could play for Swinton Lions on Sunday in the Championship
Warrington welcome Castleford to the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Sunday looking to extend their winning run against the Tigers to eight matches.
The Wolves have not lost against their opening opponents in Super League XVIII since the Easter of 2009, including running out 54-6 winners in the same fixture last season.
Head coach Tony Smith, who has signed no new players during the winter months, has included Paul Wood in his 19-man squad for this weekend.
However, the 31-year-old prop - who played in October's Grand Final against Leeds despite suffering a ruptured testicle which later that night had to be removed - could also yet feature for Swinton in the Championship on Sunday.
The Lions have a partnership where all Wolves' players are dual-registered, so Wood - as well as Tyrone McCarthy and James Laithwaite - look set to turn out for Swinton against Workington at Leigh Sports Village.
Chris Bridge is Warrington's only injury absentee, meaning youngster Rhys Evans and Stefan Ratchford are battling it out to start in the centres.
Meanwhile, Castleford head out on the road hoping a raft of new faces can improve their fortunes in 2012.
Tigers coach Ian Millward has included two of his recruits, Keith Mason and Jordan Tansey, in his squad for the first time after they missed the club's pre-season friendlies through injury.
Winger Kirk Dixon will be sidelined for the start of the season after suffering a calf tear during a sprint session, meaning the visitors will be without their first-choice goal-kicker.
"We are going in to Sunday's game very positive and with all new recruits back in the squad, they need to have a big impact," Millward told the club's official website.
"We have no specific targets for the first half of the season but our main aim is to be competitive for the full 80 minutes and consistent with the delivery of what we have been working on in training."
Castleford will be captained by Michael Shenton, the centre set to start his second spell at his home-town club after returning from St Helens.
Warrington squad: Atkins, Briers, Carvell, Cooper, Evans, Grix, Harrison, Higham, Hill, Hodgson, Monaghan, Monaghan, Morley, Myler, Ratchford, Riley, Waterhouse, Westwood, Wood
Castleford squad: Owen, Carney, Shenton, Webster, Chase, Ellis, Walker, Clark, Huby, Gilmour, Hauraki, Millington, Emmitt, Milner, Massey, Holmes, Thompson, Tansey, Mason