Betts: Tickle an inspiration

Widnes head coach Denis Betts has described new signing Danny Tickle as an "inspiration".

Goal-kicking forward Tickle, 30, has been brought in from Hull on a three-year deal by Betts and is set to make his Vikings debut in Sunday's Super League opener against London Broncos at the Select Security Stadium.

Betts told Sky Sports News: "The lads are inspired by how hard he works and what he does on the field. He is a phenomenal back rower.

"He works very, very hard. He protects the people around him and he gets back behind the ball early. He can do all the things that as an ex-back rower I expect a back rower to do and it's great to have him in the team and the squad."

Betts has also signed Paul Johnson from Hull as well as Australian Danny Galea from Canterbury Bulldogs.

"Part of the process of building the side was creating enough character and getting enough quality character into the side and that has been part of my recruitment last year," added Betts.

Work ethic

"Danny Tickle, Danny Galea, Paul Johnson - those lads have really added to the character of the side with their work ethic, their understanding of how to play the game and their attitude towards what it takes to be a professional."

Betts has also boosted his backroom staff with the recruitment of former Man of Steel Brett Hodgson to work with the outside backs and halves as a part-time coaching consultant and rising star Jack Owens is delighted to have him on board.

Owens said: "Brett has done some one-on-one stuff with me, video work and brought me to the side in training and had a word with me.

"He has helped me out so much in three weeks already and I am really looking forward to working alongside him."