Vikings' Head Coach Steve McCormack has recruited his Scottish second-rower Richard Fletcher from Whitehaven in a deal part funded by fans' organisation Vikings' Quids In - VIQI.

And Fletcher's signing comes as Bradford Bulls' Jason Crookes returns to Vikings on loan for the rest of the season.

Crookes, aged 17, a product of Bulls' academy scheme, joined Vikings earlier in the season, but was recalled to Bradford when the Super League outfit was hit by an injury crisis.

Crookes has recently signed a long-term deal at Bradford, but Bulls' coach Steve McNamara has agreed to allow his young star talent to continue gaining experience at Widnes.

Meanwhile, 26-year-old Fletcher joins Vikings until the end of the season and McCormack is pleased to have him in his squad and sees it as a timely boost as the season progresses.

"I've known Richard for four or five years and he's one of the best forwards outside of Super League.

"I'm delighted to have him on board and am looking forward to seeing him in a Widnes jersey as soon as possible.

"I'm also delighted to welcome Jason Crookes back. He made a big impression here and will be an important part of our plans for the rest of the season."

Fletcher is pleased to be linking up with his national coach, especially in World Cup year. "Steve has brought out the best of me at International level and I'm sure he will do the same at Widnes."

Fletcher began his professional career with Hull before joining Castleford Tigers in 2005 moving to the Recreation Ground a year later.