Widnes Vikings have made a major coup ahead of the 2015 Super League season as former New Zealand international Aaron Heremaia signed a two-year deal.
Heremaia will join the Vikings in October once his season has finished with Hull FC, and will head into what he’s describing as his biggest pre-season of his career as the Vikings look to build on what could be the Club’s best ever Super League year.
Heremaia, the ex-New Zealand Warriors dummy half who has also played in the 2011 NRL Grand Final, said: “It’s going to be a massive year for me and I can’t wait to get started at the Vikings once my duties with Hull FC are finished. This is a great opportunity and I’m looking forward to joining up with the team.”
The Kiwi didn’t take much persuading to sign for the resurgent Vikings after speaking with his old teammates at the KC Stadium, Danny Tickle and Eamon O’Carroll, and of course Widnes boss Denis Betts.
He added: “I’ve heard a lot of good things about Widnes from Danny and Eamon and I was keen to find out more. So when Denis Betts picked up the phone and said Widnes are interested then you have to listen, especially with what’s been happening there and the journey they are on.
“Denis told me about the Club and where they’re heading. I’ve been hearing so many good things about the environment on and off the field, it just makes it an easy decision for me to relocate with my family and be part of building something special. You can see, by what they are doing on the field now, that everyone enjoys being there and I’m really excited to be a part of it from October.
“The Community work that goes on there is really positive and I’ll be playing my part in helping the team build on the already good work that they are doing. I also know the Club has developed some talented young players and if I can enhance that in any way, I’ll certainly do it.”
Heremaia says he’s given everything to earn what he has achieved in Rugby League and he’s keen to bring the good times back to Widnes and establish himself as a key player for his new side.
He added: “I consider myself to be a bit of a late bloomer and I’ve put a lot of hard work in to get here to Widnes. I’ve represented my country and have played in an NRL Grand Final, the next chapter is to bring success to Widnes Vikings and I’ll be giving it my all.
“Denis has given me no guarantees – just an opportunity. I want to play more game time and I want to establish myself as the main hooker at Widnes – that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to move clubs. I know that’s going to be tough as there are a lot of good players there but I’m prepared to work hard.”
Denis Betts says his new signing reinforces the messages the Club are sending out in Super League this season.
He said: “This signing just shows again that we are in the market for high quality players. Aaron has been outstanding for Hull FC over the last few years; he’s got international pedigree and has great character. Anyone you speak to about Aaron speaks very highly about him. He’ll be great for the Club and in the community and he ticks every box for us.
“I’m also excited about how much he can help and improve Lloyd White and Liam Carberry, the competition for places in that hooking role will be huge next year and that’s what I want.
“He wants to work hard and that’s a pre-requisite for coming into this group. I’ve spoke to Aaron a few times now and he’s really looking forward to coming here to Widnes. He really wants to be part of the culture at the Club – not just walk out in the field and play. He’s going to be great for us in lots of different areas and I’m really looking forward to working with him.”