Widnes Vikings have set about their business this past weekend as they aim to return to the promised land of Super League, recruiting former Wigan Warriors man Nick Gregson from Swinton Lions.
The Chemics had a disappointing season in 2023 with head coach John Kear departing halfway through after an impressive start turned sour, but things only worsened for the club who ended up finishing ninth and four points shy of the playoffs.
Ending the season with three consecutive losses ultimately cost the Vikings but they’re now looking forward to 2024 and this past weekend has seen them juggle their squad for the upcoming campaign. In doing so they’ve signed Nick Gregson with the 27-year-old arriving from Widnes.
With pre-season set to get underway for the Championship club it’s a key signing with Gregson comfortable across the back-row and in the halves, bringing the pedigree of a higher level having featured for Wigan previously 15 times including 14 games in Super League.
He arrives from Swinton with whom he’s played for since 2019, having helped the club secure promotion from League One, but he’s a Viking now with the club confirming his move via a statement released on their website.
It read: “The Vikings are delighted to unveil our latest signing ahead of the 2024 season, as 27-year-old forward Nick Gregson arrives on a 1-year deal from Swinton Lions!
“The former Wigan, Leigh, Workington and Oldham player has been with the Lions since 2019, and joins the Vikings alongside the club’s new head coach, Allan Coleman.
“Gregson, who can play across the back-row and in the halves, is thrilled to be a Widnes player, and looks forward to settling into his new environment with pre-season just days away.”
Talking on his move, Gregson explained: “It wasn’t a hard decision to make the move really. Swinton really felt like home for me but it was the right time to take up something new.
“Speaking with Allan Coleman and knowing what his plans are here made the decision a lot easier. I’ve got a good relationship with both himself and Tom Wood, and know how they want me to play.”
He also explained the versatility that he’ll bring to the Vikings, capable of playing in a number of roles, an invaluable asset within the sport given injuries and also the budget constraints that teams work under.
Gregson stated: “I see myself as a ball-playing loose forward and it’s my preferred position, but I’ve stepped up in the number 6 jersey the past few seasons and am more than happy to fill in anywhere.”
Vikings new head coach Allan Coleman added: “Nick is a player who has everything you need to make it as a professional rugby player.
“He can play it tough amongst the forwards through the middle, or as a pivot who controls the game and links with the halves.
“H’s got a great kicking game to boot, and I’m really excited to see Nick bring that new dimension to our pack, and help showcase how we want to play this year.”