Widnes Vikings have suffered three substantial injury blows on the eve of the Championship season.
Hep Cahill, Krisnan Inu and Jay Chapelhow have all been ruled out of the opening rounds of the season after suffering injuries.
Club captain Cahill has been ruled out for six weeks after suffering a thumb injury that will require surgery, centre Inu is set to miss five weeks after picking up a calf injury while Chapelhow will be unavailable for three to four weeks after picking up an ankle injury in the club’s pre-season fixture with Hull KR.
The news comes as a huge blow for head coach Keiron Purtill, who is now set to be without three major players during their tough start to the season.
They host Halifax in round 1 before games against Toulouse and Toronto, three sides who all finished in the top four of the second tier last year.