Vikings lose Briscoe and Pickersgill

Widnes have been hit with a double blow ahead of their derby at Warrington with the news Shaun Briscoe and Steve Pickersgill are out due to injury.

The Vikings have struggled with injury throughout their first season back in Super League, already losing Anthony Watts, Ben Kavanagh and Thomas Coyle for the season.

Briscoe, 29, missed the opening rounds of Super League after joining in the close season from Hull KR, and he is now facing six weeks on the sidelines with a groin injury picked up in last weekend’s club record 76-6 defeat at Catalan.

Former Warrington prop Pickersgill is also set to miss up to a month after twisting his ankle in the game in France.

Coach Denis Betts said: “It doesn’t look great at times.

“And the hardest thing is that when we suffer injuries and want to bring players through – I see a group of talented kids but with no training age.

“Sides like Warrington, Wigan and St Helens have had full-time academies for a number of years. They have 19-year-olds who have been professionals for three years.

“I look and see kids who have six months under their belt, or some of the kids who are still at school and not full-time. To pitch them in at this level would be dangerous.”

Another ex-Warrington man, Jon Clarke, is still missing through injury, but the Vikings do welcome back winger Patrick Ah Van back in to their squad.

They are likely to come up against half-back Gareth O’Brien, who has been named in the Warrington squad having spent the past month on loan at the Stobart Stadium.

Widnes 19-man squad v Warrington: Ah Van, Allen, Cahill, Craven, Cross, Dean, Finnigan, Flynn, Haggerty, Gerrard, Hanbury, Isa, Kite, Leuluai, Moore, Owens, Phelps, White, Winterstein.

Warrington 19-man squad v Widnes: Atkins, Blythe, Bridge, Briers, Carvell, Cooper, Currie, Dwyer, Higham, Hill, Hodgson, McCarthy, J. Monaghan, Myler, O’Brien, Riley, Westwood, Williams, Wood.

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