RUGBY League returns tonight as Wolves make the short trip to the Halton Stadium for their annual festive friendly against Widnes Vikings.

Here’s everything you need to know about tonight’s clash:


IF nothing else, it is a chance to get back to watching rugby league again. It seems much longer than 27 days since the Rugby League World Cup Final!

Furthermore, Wolves fans will get to see their team in action for the first time under new head coach Steve Price.

He admits the changes he is making will not happen overnight, but has promised a tougher, more resilient Wire side than in years gone by.

There’s also plenty of new faces that could get their first taste of life in a Wolves shirt, with Bryson Goodwin, Mitch Brown and Luis Johnson all included in Price’s 19-man squad.


“In critical positions, it’s important to have the time to build those combinations. The players have developed a lot of trust and belief in each other.

“It’s exciting for the football club and the Wire fans. I’d like to see plenty of fans out there to get behind the boys.”

Wolves head coach Steve Price

“All of the players in the squad have worked tirelessly during pre-season and will be keen to showcase what they can do for the year ahead.

“Playing Warrington in a festive derby is always a big challenge, and everyone in the team is relishing the prospect of playing.”

Widnes Vikings head coach Denis Betts


AS well as the new signings mentioned above, Price has selected plenty of young players for the trip to the Halton Stadium.

Joe Pilling, Brad Pinder and Ellis Robson are in line to make their senior debuts, while Taylor Prell could also make his first-team bow after switching from rugby union midway through the 2017 season.

Senior players such as Mike Cooper, Matty Russell and Ben Westwood are also in contention.

Wolves squad: Mitch Brown, Mike Cooper, Bryson Goodwin, Jack Johnson, Luis Johnson, George King, Toby King, Tom Lineham, Harvey Livett, Pat Moran, Dec Patton, Joe Philbin, Joe Pilling, Brad Pinder, Taylor Prell, Ellis Robson, Matty Russell, Morgan Smith, Ben Westwood.

Warrington Guardian:

Bryson Goodwin could make his first appearance for Wolves tonight. Picture by Mike Boden


LIKE his Wolves counterpart, Vikings boss Denis Betts has gone with a mixture of youth and experience for the friendly clash.

Senior players such as Joe Mellor, Tom Gilmore and Matt Whitley are included, as is former Wolves player Sam Wilde.

Ex-Rylands and Crosfields junior Danny Walker is also in the Vikings squad, as is former St Gregory’s Catholic High School pupil Ed Chamberlain.

Warrington Guardian:

Sam Wilde has made his move from Wolves to Widnes permanent. Picture by Mike Boden

Vikings squad: Olly Ashall, Keanan Brand, Owen Buckley, Greg Burke, Ed Chamberlain, Jay Chapelhow, Ted Chapelhow, Chris Dean, Owen Farnworth, Sam Freeman, Tom Gilmore, Jordan Johnstone, Joe Lyons, Stefan Marsh, Joe Mellor, Dan Norman, Tom Olbison, Lloyd Roby, Brad Walker, Danny Walker, Matt Whitley, Sam Wilde.


Sam Wilde

WOLVES fans will know all about the second rower after he came through the club’s academy to make his first-team debut in 2015.

After starting the 2016 Grand Final defeat to Wigan, Wilde could not break back into the Wire side last season and had spells on loan at Widnes and London Broncos before making his move to the Vikings permanent in September.


When: Friday, December 29

Kick off: 8pm 

Where: Halton Stadium, Lowerhouse Lane, Widnes WA8 7DZ

Admission: Adult £18, Concession 65+years £14, Young adult 17-23 years £14, Junior under 16 years £9.


IF you are not heading to Widnes this evening, the Warrington Guardian website is the place to keep up to date with everything as it happens.

Our sports team will be live from the Halton Stadium all night, providing the best coverage of the game.

Matchday Live, our live blog, will be running and keep an eye on our Warrington Wolves - Warrington Guardian Facebook page for pre-match thoughts and our On The Hooter report via Facebook Live.