Tuson’s first Viking test

CHRIS Tuson will tick off a career first when he takes on Widnes.

The robust back-rower has never faced the Vikings since surfacing on the first-team scene in 2008.

But he is poised for a big role against the Super League new-boys as Shaun Wane rests many of his senior men.

The Vikings are still searching for their first win in five outings and Tuson says there is little danger of complacency creeping into their ranks.

He said: “This week it’s all about us. We’ve set ourselves a standard and we want to play like we know we can play.

“It’s a lot about attitude. The first game of the season, we all know what happened (Wigan lost to Huddersfield), and the same could happen against if we don’t play like we know we can.”

Tuson has figured off the bench in Wigan’s first matches so far and has made some strong contributions, with Shaun Wane this week suggesting he was unlucky to miss out on selection for the England Knights squad.

Yet the Chorley-raised forward – now 24 – is not completely satisfied with his own form so far.

“I feel like I’ve been a bit inconsistent,” he said. “I’ve done alright at times.

“I put about 5kg on over the off-season and I feel the benefit going into contact.

“But I’m still trying to get used to running with that weight, and being effective with it.

“I’m the same weight as Lockers and Faz, I just need to get used to it.”

There are no shortage of connections between Wigan and Widnes, who are back in the top-flight after six seasons in the second-tier, and Tuson knows two of the Widnes players particularly well.

“I grew up playing with Stefan Marsh and Ben Davies and so there’s been a bit of banter flying this week,” he said.

“They’ve got some talented players in their side and I’m glad Widnes are back in Super League.

“I think everyone wanted them in. It’s another North West derby for us.”

Sunday’s game will be the first time the two teams have gone head-to-head since a Challenge Cup 5th Round game at the Stobart two years ago. Prior to the main event at 3pm, the Vikings and Warriors Under-20s sides will also go head-to-head, kick-off at 12.45pm.

Vikings 19-man squad: Ah Van, Allen, Briscoe, Cahill, Clarke, Craven, Davies, Finnigan, Flynn, Hanbury, Isa, Kite, Marsh, Mullally, O’Brien, Phelps, Pickersgill, White, Winterstein.

Warriors 19-man squad: S Tomkins, Charnley, Goulding, Finch, McIlorum, Mossop, Hansen, Hock, O’Loughlin, Lima, Farrell, Tuson, Lauaki, Gelling, Mellor, Hughes, Russell, L Tomkins, Spencer.

Referee: Robert Hicks