Widnes hooker Aaron Heremaia to retire at season’s end

Widnes hooker Aaron Heremaia has confirmed that he will hang up his boots at the end of the season.

The 35-year-old has made 98 appearances for the Vikings since joining from Hull FC in 2015.

Current vice-captain of the Vikings, Heremaia has been part of the furniture at the Halton Stadium for the last four seasons.

He has also had spells at Leigh Centurions, New Zealand Warriors and Hull FC during his career, making almost 300 first-grade appearances. He earned one cap for New Zealand in the Anzac Test against Australia in 2010.

On his decision to retire, Heremaia said: “Although my body is feeling fine and I’m still in good shape, you realise that rugby league is mentally quite hard.

“Because I’ve been playing the game for so long, and having spoken to a few friends who have recently retired, I feel like it’s the right time to move on to the next stage of my life.

“It’s been a whirlwind kind of career for me, having only made my top-flight debut at 25. In that time, I’ve been able to represent my country, play in an NRL Grand Final and also play in a Challenge Cup final at Wembley. I’m very proud of what I have achieved in the game.

“My time at Widnes Vikings has been great. We’ve got seven huge games coming up, and I know everyone in the group are fully focused on ensuring that Widnes Vikings retain their Super League status by the time I hang up my boots.”