Wigan back extends Widnes stay as Castleford utility heads to Halifax

James Gordon
Zach Eckersley Widnes Vikings SWpix

Photo: Olly Hassell/SWpix

As Super League clubs prepare for Magic Weekend, multiple of their players are set to feature on loan for Championship and League 1 clubs.

Wigan’s Zach Eckersley has extended his loan spell at Widnes for a further month, having impressed since arriving at the DCBL Stadium at the start of April.

The 19-year-old has scored five tries in four appearances, though his latest game against Featherstone on May 14 was cut short due to a head injury, which ruled him out of the Summer Bash win over Swinton.

It was against Swinton that Eckersley made his debut, scoring a hat-trick in a 48-16 win, and he also played against Barrow before being briefly recalled by Wigan to be 18th man for their Super League game against Wakefield on April 23.

He is set to return for the Vikings when they welcome London Broncos in the Championship on Sunday.

Vikings head of operations, Chris Hamilton, said: “We are delighted to have extended Zach’s loan, once again. He has settled in well at the club and everybody has been able to see the effect he has had on the pitch. Hopefully, there are more tries to come from him.”

Sutcliffe heads to Halifax

Halifax have moved quickly to cover for the loss of the suspended Jacob Fairbank and the injured Ben Kavanagh by drafting in Alex Sutcliffe on dual-registration from Castleford.

Kavanagh failed a HIA at the Summer Bash in the defeat to Batley, and so will be forced to sit out their trip to Toulouse.

Sutcliffe, 24, comes in having been left out of the Castleford squad that will face Leeds at St James’ Park on Saturday.

The former Leeds centre or back-rower has only featured twice for the Tigers this season, including in the recent defeat to Hull FC.

More movement at Wakefield

After making five incoming signings on Wednesday, Wakefield have confirmed that three players are departing on loan to lower league clubs.

Oli Pratt is returning to Championship side York, where he made two appearances at the start of May in wins over London and Newcastle.

Prop Ellis Roberts and playmaker Robbie Butterworth have joined London Skolars, ahead of their game against North Wales on Saturday.

Roberts was handed a one-match ban for dangerous contact in Wakefield reserves game against Newcastle recently. His ban will come in to force after this weekend.

Earlier, Toulouse confirmed the loan signing of Brazilian forward Ramon Silva from Wigan.