WIDNES RUFC have been dealt a blow ahead of their final trial game this Saturday - at home to town rivals Birchfield.
Powerful forward Gary Moss has been forced to announce his retirement from the sport after again badly dislocating a shoulder in the friendly game against Sefton.
Otherwise, Wids will be hoping to put out a full squad of players for their final trial game.
This is the last run-out ahead of the club's first meaningful fixture on September 2, when they face Oldham in the Lancashire Trophy first round.
The league season starts on September 9 with a home game against Aspull, who pulled off a shock cup win against the Heath Roaders last year.
Director of rugby Jimmy O'Neill said: 'The boys have trained really well throughout the summer.
'We have signed some really useful players, and the whole squad have responded well.
'Everyone is really looking forward to the first game against Aspull.'
A recruitment drive is continuing among the junior ranks.
A poster campaign is taking place throughout the area, and players of all ages are invited to come along to have a look around the excellent facilities on offer.
To help with fundraising, the junior section has announced a race night on October 13 (7pm).
Meanwhile, for the third year in a row, a coach party of players, WAGS, children and friends have travelled to the south of France for a week's activity holiday.
The group are staying at Club Correze, an outward-bound centre in the picturesque town of Meymac.
The centre is owned and operated by ex-Wids player Ged Glynn, his wife Clare and their two children.
A full programme of events including abseiling, orienteering and mountain biking are planned.
Widnes 36 Collegiate 15
DESPITE being without 18 of their first-team squad, Widnes showed strength in depth and underlined their promise for the new season by running out convincing warm-up winners over Collegiate.
A strong Collegiate side just couldn't match the class of the Widnes team as superb handling and pack work led to good tries.
Widnes looked very capable from the outset.
All the team played well but Tom Farmer and Mark Whitfield stood out for coach Liam 'Tank' McDermott. There was a great return for Gaz Riley, who outclassed the Collegiate backs.
Coach McDermott said: 'An excellent performance, from everyone, I'm proud that these lads stood up to the challenge against a very strong Collegiate team and did the job well.
'Everyone deserved the win today and we're looking forward to Birchfield on Saturday.'
Widnes have been strengthened further with the signing of Carl Shingler, a very versatile player who played in four different positions against Collegiate.