Ah Van makes Vikings move
Widnes Vikings have signed Patrick Ah Van on a two-year deal following confirmation of his departure from Bradford.
Last Updated: 02/08/11 4:36pm
Widnes Vikings have announced the signing of goalkicking three-quarter Patrick Ah Van on a two-year deal following confirmation of his departure from Bradford.
The 23-year-old Samoan international is the Bulls' leading scorer in his first season in Super League with 84 goals and 11 tries from his 24 appearances but was not offered a new contract for 2012.
The former New Zealand Warrior, a one-time Junior Kiwis captain, becomes the Vikings' fourth major capture for their return to Super League in 2012 following the acquisition of Shaun Briscoe (Hull KR), Ben Cross (Wigan) and Hep Cahill (Crusaders).
"Pat will add a tremendous amount of power and size to our back line," said Widnes coach Denis Betts.
"He's a proven tryscorer at both NRL and Super League level and, at 23, he's a young player whose best years are most definitely in front of him.
"Another of his qualities is his burning ambition to succeed in the game, a desire which mirrors that of our own, here at the Vikings."
Widnes have also handed Super League contracts to a trio of teenagers they describe as "three of the hottest talents in the game".
Full-back Danny Craven, 19, who has missed most of the 2011 Championship season with a shoulder reconstruction, will be joined by junior England internationals Jack Owens and Tom Gilmore, both 17, on three-year deals.
Owens made his Widnes debut at the age of 16 years and 276 days in the Challenge Cup third-round win over Siddal in March while Gilmore, a one-time trialist with Liverpool, played in the Vikings' pre-season trial matches.
Vikings director of rugby Paul Cullen said: "Youth development was pivotal to our successful Super League licence application. We promised it wouldn't be a false promise and here's the proof."
Widnes have also retained Macgraff Leuluai, Paddy Flynn, Steve Pickersgill, Dave Allen, Thomas Coyle, Kurt Haggerty and Ben Kavanagh from their current squad.