We caught up with him ahead of their Super League opener against Wakefield on Friday, for the first “Big Interview” of the season.
One of the main reasons was the opportunity to play at 9, my preferred position. It’s the role that I think best suits my game and gives me the opportunity to enjoy my rugby, which will hopefully lead to me getting England opportunities in the near future. Widnes is also a club that has huge potential and is moving forward and with aspirations to be competing at the top end of Super League, it was an opportunity to be part of that. I’ve also known Denis Betts for quite some time, and our relationship is a good one, and so I expect to be in an environment in which I can really do well.
How has pre season training gone so far?
As with all pre season schedules, it has been painful! They are designed to be tough, so as a player, you expect that. We’ve been thrown together really, as a group, so there is a lot of bonding to be done, but through team conditioning drills, you have to rely on each other to get through, so those important relationships are built during this time. Everybody has put 100% into everything we have done and we know that things might take a few weeks or even months, to come good, but we know that the harder we work, the quicker this will happen.
It’s fair to say that at 24 years of age, you are quite an experienced individual, do you find that daunting?
I actually thrive on responsibility as I tend to get the best out of myself when I’m under pressure, but to be honest, its’ not something that I’ve thought too much about because we have players with far more experience than me, like Jon Clarke and Sean Briscoe. I’m probably going to be seen as a bit of a leader by some of the lads because I’ve played in Super League with a few clubs, and that’s fine, because I see myself as somebody who is happy to offer advice to those that want it. I’m comfortable with that. It also helps when you are at a club where there are no egos.
Widnes Vikings in 2012, young and inexperienced players and also experienced Super League players from other clubs, as well as what you could consider Super League squad players from elsewhere, so quite a mixed group. Do you see this as a negative?
I see it as being very exciting, as there are no expectations on us as a group. That means that there is very little pressure externally, although we have put a certain amount of pressure on ourselves individually and as a group. We see ourselves in a good position, other teams probably don’t know what to expect from us, and we’ve spoken about that. We also know that the younger lads are very eager to impress and show the older players that they aren’t just here to make up the numbers. This creates healthy competition and sometimes the lack of experience can be a good thing, because they get by on pure enthusiasm, which I’m sure will have an impact on the more experienced players in the group.
What type of rugby do you hope Widnes Vikings can play in 2012?
I think every week will be different. We know that if we look to play expansive and open rugby against certain teams, and make errors, then we could make things very difficult for ourselves. We plan to take each game on its own merits and prepare to play the opposition in front of us. If we work hard on getting the basics right, I’m sure we’ll see some attractive play, but we won’t be sacrificing results for the sake of throwing the ball around at every opportunity. We will be prepared at times to roll up our sleeves and get stuck in, and that will be important for us this year.
If I said ‘Play Offs’ to you, what would be the most accurately descriptive word that immediately comes to mind?
If I said ‘bottom of the league’ to you, what would be the most accurately descriptive word that immediately comes to mind?
I’d like to thank Scott for taking the time to give me his thoughts on how he thinks Widnes Vikings will go this season, and wish him and the Vikings good luck for the 2012 season.