Phelps to face old pals

EX-WARRIOR Cameron Phelps is poised for a Widnes debut against his former club this Sunday.

Phelps and Sione Kite jetted in from Down Under last week after visa issues had delayed their arrival.

Coach Denis Betts decided not to play them at Hull KR to give them time to settle in, and says they are now ready to go.

He said: “Phelps and Kite have looked good in the sessions they have had so far and after giving them a week to adjust to their new surroundings I think they are ready to step into the side.”

Kite will replace former Wigan prop Ben Cross, who is out with a calf injury, while Betts could also play Warrington’s on-loan halfback Gareth O’Brien.

Phelps joined Wigan midway through 2008 and figured 26 times the following season. He started 2010 in superb form, but his campaign was derailed by a nasty knee injury and after being released at the end of the year, he joined Hull FC last season.

SHAUN Wane will leave it up to the players to decide whether they wear protective clothing on Widnes’ iPitch this weekend.

Wane is refusing to make an issue of the artificial pitch, turning down the chance to train on it in the build-up to the game, though he will allow players to cover up if they want.

He said: “Whatever the surface, it doesn’t matter, we’re going to be focused and I won’t even mention the pitch.

“We’ll do our own thing in the week and just turn up on Sunday ready to play.

“If the players want to wear (skins), it’s up to them.”

The artificial surface has caused a stir in some quarters, with ex-Warrior Richie Mathers blaming it for leg grazes he suffered on the opening day of the season.

Widnes coach Denis Betts hit back at Mathers’ Twitter rant and repeated his defence of the surface.

But in the next match at the Stobart, several of Salford’s players wore base layers – or ‘skins’ as they are more commonly known – under their kit, though most of the Leeds players decided against such a move.