WIDNES Vikings have been dealt a series of injury blows ahead of Sunday’s Championship opener against Halifax.

Club captain Hep Cahill requires surgery on a thumb injury which will rule the loose forward out for the next six weeks.

Prop forward Jay Chapelhow, who sustained an ankle injury in the club’s first pre-season fixture against Hull Kingston Rovers at Featherstone, will be sidelined for the next three to four weeks.

And strike centre Krisnan Inu has suffered a calf injury which keeps him out of action for approximately five weeks.

Meanwhile half back Tom Gilmore continues with his recovery from off-season surgery.

Jordan Johnstone and Liam Hood, who suffered a cut to his eye-lid, should be in contention for selection for Sunday.

Vikings wrapped up their pre-season preparations with a win over League 1 side North Wales Crusaders in a game that saw new boy Anthony Gelling get his first run out in the black and white.

But coach Kieron Purtill, although pleased with some aspects, was less than happy with the team’s performance.

He said: “I was happy to get the win and some minutes for Gelling and Danny Craven, but from a performance point of view we need to improve in some areas.

“We dropped our intensity.

“We had good intensity in the two games against Super League opposition, but dropped it on Sunday.

“Next week we go again in the first game of the competition and I am sure the boys will be firing.”

Gelling and Craven both earned praise from Purtill.

“Gelling was a bit rusty; he’s only been here a week but he will only get better.

“He is a big player for us.

“Craven, too, needed some minutes and he kicked the ball really well.”

Sunday’s first Championship game against Halifax at the Halton Stadium will kick off at 3pm.