Vikings full-back Rhys Hanbury has welcomed the increasing fight for places in the Club’s back-line ahead of the new season.
Hanbury spent the festive period back home in Australia and has now returned to Widnes for pre-season training.
In his absence, new signing Corey Thompson has been running at full-back in training and started at full-back in the Festive Derby clash against Warrington.
Hanbury said: “It’s what we need. We need competition for places in each position and I welcome it. I know he (Corey) is going to keep me on my toes, so I’m looking forward to it.
“The squad gets stronger each year. The coaches have done well. The main group has stuck together for a few years and we keep adding quality players.”
As well as Thompson, the Vikings have added Chris Bridge, Setaimata Sa and Chris Houston, a player Hanbury knows well, in the off season.
He added: “I played a bit of junior rugby with Chris, I’ve known him since I was 16. He’s going to be a great addition for us. He’s a good leader, a good player and something that we needed after Danny Galea left.
“Chris is more of a ball player, whereas Danny was a bit more of a defensive back-rower, so I think he’ll do a good job for us with offloads and stuff like that.
“We don’t want to be in the middle 8s again. It’s a place I don’t want to be. Every year we’ve been pushing for the eight and now you need to be sticking with the top four or you’ve got no chance of making the play-offs.
“The fans have been great since we came back in to Super League, so hopefully they can bring a few more friends down this season and get the crowds growing.”
Listen to the full interview with Rhys Hanbury and Charly Runciman