WIDNES Rugby Union Club coach Lee McDermott is giving his players only five weeks off before they resume training for the new season on June 5.

When they return for the start of official pre-season training, there will be several new faces swelling the playing ranks at Heath Road.

Three South Africans have joined the club following their arrival in this country on a working holiday - Neels Nieuwenhuis, Stefan Wiehman and Schuan Heyliger, who all come with a top-class playing pedigree.

Coach McDermott is hoping that the arrival of the players will bolster his squad in readiness for the challenge ahead.

With several of the junior colts also pushing for a spot in the senior ranks, competition for places in the squad will be very tight indeed next season.

"I am already excited about next season, and September can't come round quickly enough," said McDermott.

Meanwhile, the junior section are looking to recruit new players to bolster next season's under 14s, 15s and 16s age groups.

Training is on Wednesdays at Prescot Road at 6pm.

Anyone interested in obtaining more information can contact George Street on 0151 4242575.

On Friday, around 160 children and parents will be going on a rugby tour to the Isle of Man, where they will play games against teams such as Douglas, Nomads, Vagabonds and Ramsey.

* Widnes under 12s won the Lancashire Centenary Cup at Liverpool-St Helens at the weekend.

They drew 0-0 with Ormskirk in the final but lifted the trophy as a result of a superior try count.

Widnes were drawn against the strongest teams in the finals but defeated Fylde 14-7, drew 7-7 with Aldwinians and beat Vale Of Lune 7-0 to reach the semi finals against Southport.

Tries from prop Geoff Cooke and Rob Fonterigo enabled Widnes to run out 12-0 winners against Southport.

Squad: Joe Clark, Geoff Cooke, Scott Critchley, Jake Coulter, Aaron Duggan, Ryan Dutton, Rob Fonterigo, Jonathon Gray, Ben Johnson, Michael Jones, Remy Julienne, Charles Lang, Ben Mercer, Frankie Pinder, Sean Quinn, Matthew Thomas, Jordan Tisdale.