WIDNES Vikings have announced John Kear as their new boss, but the veteran head coach will not be in the opposite dug-out against York City Knights on Sunday (3pm).

Kear has penned a deal until the end of the 2023 season with Widnes but will not begin in his new role until July 1.

The Vikings had been without a permanent head coach since late April, when they parted company with Simon Finnigan, while Kear was out of work since leaving Bradford Bulls during the same month.

Ahead of this weekend's home match against York at the DCBL Stadium, Widnes sit ninth in the Betfred Championship, having recorded just one win in their last 11 matches.

Kear will be eager to save the former Betfred Super League club's season, with the Cheshire outfit currently trailing the third-placed Knights by a sizeable 12 points and seven points adrift of the play-off places.

"When I left Bradford I didn't envisage returning to the game as quickly as I have," Kear said.

"But when this opportunity presented itself, and it is a great opportunity within a great club, it was just too good not to take up.

"I'm really looking forward to the challenge, hopefully finishing the season well and building for 2023."

York's trip across the Pennines will offer them the chance to complete the league double over Widnes, having beaten the Vikings 32-6 in March's reverse fixture at the LNER Community Stadium.