Owens extends Widnes contract


Widnes full-back Jack Owens has signed a new two-year deal at the club, extending his stay with the Vikings until 2016.

Owens, 19, originally had a contract until 2014 but the Vikings have moved quickly to secure the youngster’s future at the Stobart Stadium Halton.

He said: “Growing up, I played at the (Halton Farnworth) Hornets for 11 years and I’ve always watched the Vikings since I was a young lad.

“I signed a professional contract at Widnes when I was 16 and when Denis (Betts) approached me a couple of weeks ago, more than anything, I was just made up to be offered a deal to stay at the club for longer.

“For a home grown lad like myself to be given the opportunity to be a part of his home town team alongside a great bunch of lads, is the best feeling ever.

“I just want to kick-on now and get as much game time under my belt as possible. 

Obviously I’m still a young lad and I know that I’ve got to be patient, but when the opportunities do arise, I’ll be ready to take them and make the most of them.”

Owens joins captain John Clarke, full-back Rhys Hanbury and winger Patrick Ah Van in signing new deals at Widnes as head coach Denis Betts begins work on his squad for 2014. 

Betts said: “Retaining the senior players in our squad is important. 

“It is equally as important for us to remember that the future of this club lies in our emerging talent. Nobody encapsulates that more than Jack.

We wanted to retain him and reward him with an extended contract. By doing so, we’re now able to keep him at the club and look after him for a much longer period.

“Jack can go as far as he wants in this game. What we have to do is create an environment and a platform for him to be able to fulfil his ambition and his dreams.”

Widnes take on Catalan Dragons at the weekend as they look to recover from the Magic Weekend defeat to Salford.