Houston extends contract, Brooks departs

Widnes Vikings have confirmed Chris Houston has renewed his contract for the 2018 season.

Houston has played 48 games for the Vikings since joining in 2016. He has extensive previous experience in the NRL, playing almost 200 games for St. George Illawarra Dragons and Newcastle Knights between 2007 and 2015.

He was named a co-captain of the Vikings at the start of the 2017 season, along with Joe Mellor.

Widnes boss Denis Betts said: “I’m delighted that Chris has chosen to renew his contract with the Vikings and shown such belief in what we are building here.

“Since he joined the club Chris has provided invaluable experience and leadership skills to the squad. It is pleasing to have retained a player of his quality for the 2018 campaign.”

Houston added: “I’m pleased to have renewed my contract with the Vikings for the third season. Although we have had a tough year, I’m confident that we will be able to perform at a high standard for the remainder of season and finish the year well.

“This season we have had our depth tested by injuries and it is a credit to our Academy system that we have had young players step up and perform well.

“I believe that we will be stronger for their experiences this year and that these young players have an exciting future ahead.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time at Widnes and I’m excited for what we can achieve in 2018.”

Widnes have also announced that Sam Brooks has left the club to pursue opportunities elsewhere.

The forward signed for the Vikings in 2016 from Whitehaven. He made five appearances, scoring one try.

Brooks said: “I’ve found my game time limited at the Vikings, and at this stage in my career it is important to me that I play rugby league regularly.

“By moving on, I will have the opportunity to pursue a career in the game elsewhere. I would like to thank the players and staff at Widnes Vikings, and wish them all the best for the coming seasons.”

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