The two St George-Illawarra Dragons club-mates are set to be in opposing sides when the Kiwis clash with England on Sunday at Hull, and Widdop knows that the English will need to keep a close eye on Nightingale.
“At club level Jason has been at the Dragons ever since he was a junior so he’s certainly well respected there and a good friend of mine,” said Widdop.
“He’s probably one of the older boys in the Kiwis and he’s got a lot of experience so he’ll be a key player for them in helping a few of the young boys out.
“He is an unbelievable finisher and has scored some great tries over the years. We’ll be making sure New Zealand don’t get into any good field positions and then they won’t have the opportunities to score those type of tries.
“Jason is a bit of a freak at times and manages to put the ball down when you think it’s not possible. First thing we have to do though is stop the big boys in the middle.”