Castleford will pay their respects to the Millward family before today's match against Wigan – and then attempt to get back to business. The Tigers will hold a minute's applause for Robbie Millward, the 19-year-old son of their coach who died suddenly last Sunday. That has meant a demanding first taste of coaching at Super League level for Stuart Donlan, the assistant who is standing in for Ian Millward during his compassionate leave.
"It's going to be a difficult day with a lot of emotion," said Donlan. "But the feeling I get from the lads is that they are really focused on the game and really keen to put on a performance worthy of Ian and his family, as well as making it a little bit easier for him when he does return."
Donlan, who played for Millward at his last club, Leigh, said that he had been given helpful advice by the Huddersfield coach, Nathan Brown, during the run-up to his first game in charge. He is likely to have the same squad on duty that lost narrowly in France to the Catalan Dragons last weekend, while Wigan could also be unchanged from their victory at Bradford.
Warrington expect to have Brett Hodgson at full-back for the first time this season when they play at home to Hull KR this afternoon. Mickey Higham could also be fit to return, while Simon Grix's foot injury is not as bad as was feared and he is also included in the squad. Ben Harrison is another whose injury is not as severe as first thought. He will be out for three months with knee ligament damage, but not for the whole season as was thought.
Rovers are still without three of their most influential figures – Ben Galea, Blake Green and Michael Dobson – and they added David Hodgson to their injured list last week.
London Broncos, who are at home to Huddersfield, are without Shane Rodney and Julien Rinaldi, who have picked up new injuries. Matt Cook is added to the squad, along with Liam Colbon and Ben Bolger.
The Giants are without their utility player, Tommy Lee, who starts a two-match suspension for a high tackle on Lee Briers of Warrington in the last round of matches.
Widnes, down at the bottom with London as the only two sides without a point after three rounds of the competition, have another fiendishly difficult assignment to tackle, against the World Club Challenge winners, Leeds.
The Widnes coach, Denis Betts, said that formidable challenges like the one they face today are the reason the club want to be in Super League. Whether he still feels as philosophical about it afterwards will depend on what sort of a fist his Vikings make of it.
The former Wigan and Great Britain forward has said from the outset that he does not expect them to win every week, but he does expect them to be competitive. They were barely that against Salford last week and they are now without the services of Ben Kavanagh, who ruptured his achilles tendon in that match against the City Reds.
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