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Widnes 20:00 Warrington

Widnes coach Denis Betts unhappy as Gareth Hock misses showdown

Last Updated: 20/03/13 1:24pm

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Gareth Hock: Has been blocked from playing against Wigan on Saturday

Gareth Hock: Has been blocked from playing against Wigan on Saturday

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Widnes coach Denis Betts has criticised Wigan for refusing to allow England forward Gareth Hock to play in Saturday's clash between the two sides.

The Vikings second rower is barred from turning out in the televised game between the two clubs because of a clause inserted in the deal that took him on a season-long loan from Wigan to the Halton Stadium.

"I'm more disappointed for Gaz," Betts said. "I know he really wants to play. They must be afraid of him.

"Some clubs like to put (clauses) them in but, if I let a player go on loan, I wouldn't hinder his development by saying he couldn't play against us. If I didn't want him, let someone else have him.

"It's not my call, it was part of the deal. It might have been a bit of a deal-breaker so we let them keep it in."

Hock, who missed Widnes' defeat by Catalan Dragons last Saturday through suspension, is still under contract at Wigan but was allowed to go out on loan after a major fall-out in the close season.

Betts will have the services of back-row forward Hep Cahill for Saturday's game after the Australian missed the trip to the south of France to be with his wife, who is expecting their second child.

Decision

"I made the decision that he shouldn't go," Betts said. "His wife is heavily pregant and he needs to be around his family at this stage.

"It was the right thing to do because we were away for four days and, if something had happened, he couldn't have got back.

"She didn't have the baby but he'll play this week - it's a bit easier to get back from Wigan to Widnes."

Betts also expects former Wigan prop Ben Cross to face his old team-mates despite picking up a knee injury in his side's 46-14 defeat by the Dragons.

"The fluid has come out of his knee," said Betts. "He had a run today so hopefully he should be alright."

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