Bridge wants Widnes to look up rather than down

Chris Bridge believes Widnes could be dark horses for the Super League top eight and more in 2016.

Bridge is a new signing at the Select Security stadium having made the switch to Widnes after a decade at local rivals Warrington Wolves.

The centre made over 200 appearances for the Wolves, racking up over a 1000 points and was a mainstay in Tony Smith’s side when fit before leaving the club in the off-season.

But despite the 31 year-old undergoing pre-season in new surroundings for the first time since 2005, Bridge says that the move has been a seamless one.

“I’ve settled in very well at the club to be honest with you,” Bridge told Love Rugby League.

“The lads and the staff here have been really welcoming towards me so it has been really easy to fit and I’m enjoying it with all of us looking forward to the new season.”

With Bridge becoming one of a select few that has made the move from Warrington to Widnes, the centre admitted the rivalry made no difference to him wanting to join the Vikings.

“I’ve not took any notice of the talk and stuff about the rivalry between the clubs to be honest,” he said.

“I’m an Oldham lad so it’s not really a big thing to me. I can understand the rivalry and the fans talking about it, but it’s not something that matters and I just want to focus on my rugby here.”

Widnes have already played a few pre-season friendlies ahead of Super League, games against Warrington and Halifax proved tough slogs, whilst a youthful Vikings side beat Newcastle Thunder.

Bridge has said that all of those games have been good for the team, and it’s the performances and team building that are the main thing despite the results.

“Luckily you don’t get any points in December or January,” he said.

“It’s more about building the side and getting ready for the first game in February so hopefully we’ll hit the ground running in Super League.”

Widnes narrowly missed out on the Super League Super 8’s in 2015, with Denis Betts’ side having to take part in the Middle 8’s with their Super League status put into question.

The Vikings safely retained their place in the top division, but Bridge now says it is time for the club to looking further up the table rather than over their shoulders.

“Hopefully this time around we’ll be in the top eight come the split, that’s what we’re aiming for,”

“If we stay injury free, we can push a bit higher than that and up towards the top end of the league. If we keep players fit then there’s no reason why we can’t.

“Castleford did it a few years ago and everyone was writing them off to go down. If you win a few games early on and then you get the belief and the confidence in the side, it’s pretty easy to start building momentum.”

On a personal note, Bridge is hoping that 2016 is a year that he can get a consistent run of games and stay on the field rather than the treatment table.

“I want an injury free season and games under my belt, that’s what it’s all about,” he said.

“I want to start enjoying my rugby again and I believe I can do that here if I stay fit and hopefully help the club to have a big year.”

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