Rangi Chase is relishing the prospect of making his home debut for Widnes against Leeds on Bank Holiday Monday.
Chase is unable to play in the Vikings’ game at Castleford on Friday, but he says he can’t wait to run out against the Rhinos.
“When I’ve played away games against the Vikings in the past, I’ve always been impressed by the big atmosphere that the Widnes crowd creates – it’s intimidating here,” said Chase.
“I’m looking forward to now having those supporters on my side, cheering on me and the team.
“It’s a Bank Holiday game, so I’m hoping that the supporters come out in big numbers. It’s like having an extra player on the field, when the fans are behind you.
“We’re feeling positive that we can turn things around and overcome the challenges we’re facing. Hopefully we can be roared on to success by the supporters.”
Chase made his Vikings debut at Magic Weekend at St James’ Park, and was impressed with his first experience in front of the club’s fans.
“The support at Magic Weekend was awesome,” he added. “I was blown away to see that so many Vikings supporters had travelled to the North East and to hear how passionate they all were.
“Playing my first game soon after my move was a big task, because I hadn’t had a lot of time with the boys and was still getting to grips with some of the plays. I know that I’ve got a lot more to give and I’m excited to be able to show that in my home debut.
“I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to play here. The Vikings have unfortunately had a difficult run of injuries in the halves, which gives me an opportunity to have more game time. I was lacking a bit of game time at Castleford, so when this opportunity came up I thought it was the right time for me.
“Widnes’ style of play suits me and they’ve got a good bunch of lads here. My first couple of weeks have been awesome – I’ve fitted in straight away. I’m here and relishing the opportunity in front of me, and I’m feeling so positive about everything.
“I know Hep Cahill, Aaron Heremaia and Patrick Ah Van well. I’ve played against Manase Manuokafoa in the different grades back in Australia, and I came through St George Illawarra with Chris Houston. That made it an easy fit for me.”
Chase has joined the Vikings at a time when the club is facing an unprecedented run of injuries and is drawing on its talented young Academy products.
He says that he’s not only hoping to make a difference to the squad, but also to share his valuable experience with the Vikings’ young guns:
“I pride myself on my standards – playing and training well,” said Chase. “I’m pretty hard on myself and I’m enthusiastic – hopefully that will rub off onto the young players. I’m hoping to put a spring into the young boys step and to help them out.
“I’m really looking forward to playing on Monday and I’ve had nothing but positive feedback from the supporters. Things will take time, but hopefully I can bring some joy to the supporters and the boys, and help us notch up a few wins.”