Watts, 25, signed a three-year deal with the Roosters in 2011 but was suspended by the club for disciplinary reasons. He has now been given a chance to prove himself by Super League new boys Widnes, where he will be looking to re-create the form he showed in three successful years at North Queensland Cowboys.
He told the Vikings’ official website: “I’m really happy that the Vikings has offered me a lifeline to redeem myself. I’ve come over here to prove a point to myself, the people back in Australia and the Super League competition that I can play a bit, and I’m totally committed to the Vikings and hoping that we can make a few teams sit-up and take notice of us next year.”
The Queenslander, who started his career at Cronulla, has moved to the Stobart Stadium on a one-year deal, but hasn’t ruled out a longer stay.
He added: “I’m certainly confident in my own ability and if anything, not having the comfort of a longer deal gives me even more motivation to make an immediate impact and maintain my level of performance as the season progresses. I’ve already spoken at length with the staff over here and told them I’m not just hear to get a season under my belt and then head off home again to the NRL.
“I really want to deliver for the Vikings and if everything goes as I hope it will, I’ll have no hesitation whatsoever in signing a long-term contract at the club and staying in the UK for longer.”
Watts could be in line to make his Widnes debut in the Boxing Day friendly against Warrington at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.