Purtill quits as Widnes coach

Widnes Vikings have been rocked by the news that head coach Kieron Purtill is to leave his position with immediate effect.

The 42-year-old has been in charge of the Vikings for less than a year, succeeding Francis Cummins following the club’s relegation from Super League at the end of 2018.

The club confirmed today, however, that he will now leave to take up a position on the coaching staff at a Super League club.

In a statement, the club said: “The club are extremely disappointed with this decision, given that we are currently in the middle of recruiting and retaining players ahead of the 2020 campaign and with pre-season training due to start next month.

“The club is in a crucial transitional phase from a full-time to a part-time operation, and this decision naturally presents a number of unwanted issues for the club over the coming weeks.

“The club understands that supporters would prefer an immediate resolution to this issue, however we are determined to conduct a thorough and extensive search to find a coach that is the right person to take Widnes Vikings forward.

“As a result of this, the club will take all the necessary time and precautions to ensure that an appointment is made in the best interest of the club’s future rather than rushing into a decision.”

It is understood that Purtill is set to join Hull FC as one of Lee Radford’s assistant coaches.