Wolves v Vikings: Teams
At Halliwell Jones Stadium, Thursday April 5, kick-off 8pm
Last Updated: 05/04/12 9:58pm
High-flying Warrington Wolves host Widnes Vikings on Thursday in an eagerly-anticipated local derby being shown live on Sky Sports 3HD.
The two sides last met in league competition back in 2005 so there is all to play for in terms of both points and bragging rights.
And despite the Wolves sitting third in the table and the Vikings rock bottom, Warrington first team coach Willie Poching is taking nothing for granted.
He told Sky Sports: "Anybody can beat anybody in this competition, that is the beauty of the Super League in 2012.
"So regardless of whom we play, the 17 players we put out on the field on Thursday night know they have got a job to do against the 17 that Widnes put out and it will be a tough job."
With the Wolves travelling to France to face Catalans Dragons on Monday, head coach Tony Smith is determined to rotate players.
He said: "Hopefully we will play as few players twice over the weekend as possible. That's the ambition.
"It's not quite possible for the full squad - some players will have to double up - but we want to do that as least as possible.
"We are trying to look after them for the long term. We had no intention of playing some of our older brigade twice over Easter. We have got a big enough squad."
Warrington prop Adrian Morley and hooker Michael Monaghan are rested on Thursday night. Two academy players - Brad Dwyer and Ben Currie - are in the squad, while Gareth O'Brien returns following his loan spell at the Vikings.
Full-back Shaun Briscoe and former Warrington forward Steve Pickersgill have handed the visiting Vikings a double injury blow ahead of the derby.
Briscoe suffered a groin injury in Saturday's 76-6 defeat at Catalans Dragons and faces six weeks out, while Pickersgill will be missing for three to four weeks after twisting his ankle in the heavy loss.
Another former Wolves player, Jon Clarke is also on the sidelines but the veteran hooker hopes to return from ankle and groin problems against Bradford Bulls on Easter Monday.
The Vikings have already lost Anthony Watts and Ben Kavanagh for the season.
Coach Denis Betts told the club's website: "It doesn't look great at times. And the hardest thing is that when we suffer injuries and want to bring players through - I see a group of talented kids but with no training age.
"Sides like Warrington, Wigan and St Helens have had full-time academies for a number of years. They have 19-year-olds who have been professionals for three years.
"I look and see kids who have six months under their belt, or some of the kids who are still at school and not full-time. To pitch them in at this level would be dangerous."
Warrington: Atkins, Blythe, C. Bridge, Briers, Carvell, Cooper, Currie, Dwyer, Higham, Hill, Hodgson, McCarthy, J. Monaghan, Myler, O'Brien, Riley, Westwood, Williams, Wood.
Widnes: Ah Van, Allen, Cahill, Craven, Cross, Dean, Finnigan, Flynn, Haggerty, Gerrard, Hanbury, Isa, J. Kite, Leuluai, Moore, Owens, Phelps, White, Winterstein.
First Utility Super League
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington Wolves17 - 6Wigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds Rhinos46 - 18St Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants32 - 14Hull K R
Hull FC31 - 24Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils18 - 14Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers34 - 20Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St HelensvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves