WIDNES RUFC's players were put through their paces last week in an early return to pre-season training.

Coach Lee McDermott gave his charges only five weeks off before resuming the hard work in readiness for the new season, which starts in mid-August.

After the success of last season in which the club finished in sixth place, McDermott is looking for his team to hit the ground running when the new campaign begins.

The coach was delighted with the turnout for the first session, with 40 players looking to get a head start and catch the selectors' eyes as competition for places starts to hot up.

The club is always on the lookout for new players, and newcomers are very welcome to go along to join in training sessions.

These are at Heath Road every Tuesday and Thursday (6.45pm start).

The Under 12s held their annual dinner and presentation evening on Friday at the club.