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Wolves reveal squad for Catalans clash

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WARRINGTON Wolves welcome Catalans Dragons to the Halliwell Jones Stadium for the second time this season on Saturday.

The Frenchmen are in town for the second game of The Qualifiers – a competition neither side had on their agenda at the outset of Super League back in February.

The two sides met in Perpignan in the very first round of the competition, with the Dragons coming out 20-12 winners in front of 8,842 fans at the Stade Gilbert Brutus.

Warrington got revenge in the return fixture back in June though, winning 24-16.

The Wolves have been given a 11.5 point handicap on bet365 bonus code, making them 4/5 favourites for the win.

As it is, both must successfully navigate a competition that includes four Championship teams to preserve their top flight status for 2018.

The Wolves got their campaign underway with a 28-14 win at Widnes, which although fairly comfortable in the end, saw them trailing 14-6 in the early stages of the second half.

Things were far less clear cut for the Dragons, who survived a real scare against second tier side London Broncos, before eventually coming out 20-18 victors.

A second win for either side will put them in pole position for retaining their Super League status.

In this format, the top three teams after seven rounds of The Qualifiers will take their places in Super League next season, with the teams in fourth and fifth playing in the so-called Million Pound Game to decide the fourth and final spot.

Neither side has any experience of this competition, though it is only in its third year.

Leigh Centurions successfully navigated The Qualifiers last season to earn promotion, with Hull KR relegated after a dramatic golden point extra time defeat to Salford.

Hull KR are aiming to bounce straight back up this year, while Leigh and Widnes are also involved from Super League, alongside London, Halifax and Featherstone from the Championship.

Whatever the result on Saturday, there will be a celebratory feel to events at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, as second-rower Ben Westwood pulls on the primrose and blue for an incredible 400th time.

The former Wakefield man, signed back in 2002, has been a stellar servant to the club and has three Challenge Cup winners medals to his name.

He returns to Tony Smith’s 19-man squad, having sat out recently through suspension.

19-man squad: Atkins, Brown, Clark, Cooper, Dwyer, Hiku, Hill, Hughes, Julien, King, Lineham, Patton, Philbin, Ratchford, Russell, Savelio, Sims, Smith, Westwood.

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Journalist and sport content specialist, who is also editor of Love Rugby League. Formerly ran the official website of the Carling Cup, as well as operating a digital services business in Warrington.

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