Smith's men full strength for Wigan challenge

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The Independent Online

Two sides whose high hopes for the year have been sharpened by their first couple of games test out each other's credentials this evening in the most anticipated match of the Super League season so far.

Both Warrington and Wigan have shown enough to suggest top four potential and the Halliwell Jones Stadium is sold out in advance to see them go head to head.

It is a major boost for the Wolves to have both their first-choice props, Adrian Morley and Gareth Carvell, available after their visits to the disciplinary committee this week. Everything points to Tony Smith fielding an unchanged line-up for this one.

Wigan will have to make one enforced change to their side because of the knee injury suffered by their in-form full-back, Cameron Phelps, during the victory against Hull KR last weekend.

Amos Roberts, himself showing his best form since arriving in Britain at the start of last season, will switch positions to cover for his absence, with Darrell Goulding coming in on the wing. Apart from Roberts, Stuart Fielden is another who seems to be thriving on the coaching of Michael Maguire. His battle with Morley and Carvell should be a highlight.

Elsewhere today, a depleted St Helens travel to Perpignan to play the Catalan Dragons, who will be without the suspended David Ferriol.

Tomorrow, Crusaders, boosted by their win at Salford last weekend, host a Hull side that will be without Danny Tickle as well as having Sean Long and Richard Horne doubtful. Huddersfield go to Hull KR for a meeting between clubs who matched each other's improvement stride for stride last season. Ben Galea and Mike Ratu are back in contention for Rovers.

Harlequins take a break from Super League to provide the opposition for the Melbourne Storm in their warm-up game before the World Club Challenge against Leeds next Sunday. Quins will be without Luke Gale with a broken jaw, but Karl Temata makes his long-awaited return from injury.

The South Wales Scorpions play their first game today – a friendly against a reserve-strength Wigan side that will show them how ready they are for the start of their first season in Championship One next weekend.

The Widnes coach, Paul Cullen, has said that he looks forward to receiving a letter from the RFL asking him to explain his comment that Terry Newton's drug-test failure is "the tip of the iceberg."

Newton's club, Wakefield Trinity, have denied considering legal action to recoup the money they have paid him.

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