Castleford Tigers are boosted by the return of full-back Richie Owen and goalkicking centre Kirk Dixon for this afternoon's Super League clash with Widnes Vikings (+16 Match Handicap) at the Probiz Coliseum. Both players missed the Tigers' defeat at Warrington Wolves a fortnight ago because of injury, while hooker Ryan Hudson is also back in the frame but stand-off and 2011 Man of Steel Rangi Chase remains suspended.
Tigers coach Ian Millward welcomed their return saying “They will be great acquisitions for us. We've lacked some outside backs and Richie is very important to us, especially with Rangi being out."
Castleford (-16 Match Handicap) are aiming to halt a three-match losing run, which included a shock defeat to Featherstone in the fourth round of the Carnegie Challenge Cup. About the defeat Millward said "It knocked the players around. But the break has probably done us a bit of good, it gave us a chance to work on some facets of our game."
Their opponents this afternoon Widnes (6/4 to score first) are strengthened by the return of former Wigan Warriors prop Ben Davies, who played seven matches while on loan to Castleford last season, as well as fellow front rower John Kite, scrum-half Rhys Hanbury, centre Chris Dean and second rower Simon Finnigan.
Their coach Denis Betts is looking to halt to losing run of five games which has seen Widnes slide to the bottom of the table. He said "Training has gone really well over the last couple of weeks and the extended lay-off has given us plenty of time to lick our wounds, assess ourselves, look at our systems and tidy up a couple of areas. We're all really looking forward to the game now and the lads are desperate to get back out there on the playing field."