Wales stalwart makes Widnes Vikings switch after eight seasons with Swinton Lions: ‘Right time for a change’

Drew Darbyshire
Rhodri Lloyd Wales Alamy

Rhodri Lloyd in action for Wales at last year's World Cup - Alamy

Widnes Vikings have signed Wales international Rhodri Lloyd on a two-year deal from fellow Championship side Swinton Lions.

The 30-year-old has spent the last eight seasons with Swinton, having scored 64 tries in 188 appearances for the Lions.

Lloyd, who can play back-row or centre, has won 19 caps for Wales on the international stage, representing his country at the last three World Cups.

The Caerphilly-born utility spent four seasons with Wigan Warriors between 2012 and 2015, playing seven first team games the Super League giants, whilst enjoying loan spells with Leigh, London, Widnes, Swinton, Whitehaven and Workington.

Lloyd, who became the youngest ever player to represent Wales as a 17-year-old in 2010, has put pen to paper on a deal with Widnes until at least the end of the 2025 campaign.

On joining the Vikings, Lloyd said: “I think it’s the right time for a change.

“I’ve been in several promotion and relegation battles between the divisions with Swinton, and wanted to be part of something different at the Vikings.

“I was here on loan from Wigan in 2014, but only played five games before rupturing my ACL.

“There’s been interest from the club since, and I feel now’s the time to make the switch.

“I can’t wait to play in front of the Vikings fans and test myself as we look to get back to Super League.”

Rhodri Lloyd to reunite with coach Allan Coleman

Lloyd says he is looking forward to linking up with new Widnes coach Allan Coleman and his assistant Tom Wood again, whom he played under whilst at Swinton.

Lloyd said: “They’re fantastic people who have worked their way to the top.

“With Swinton, they probably had the smallest budget in the league but have done a fantastic job to keep the club in the Championship.

“Allan and Tom always strive to create a strong team ethos, built on selflessness and working together.

“They’ve had to do a lot of that at Swinton, and having that environment can help us both on and off the pitch at Widnes.”

Coleman added: “Rhod is a player I’ve worked with for five years and someone who will quickly become popular with players and fans.

“His work rate is up there with the best, and something I thought we needed at Widnes.

“He’s plays with his heart on his sleeve and having players who will run through brick walls for the fans is exactly what we want.”

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