Super League 2014: Widnes appoint former Man of Steel Brett Hodgson as an assistant coach to Denis Betts

Hodgson has been working on a freelance coaching consultancy and has helped the Vikings to five wins from their opening six matches

Widnes have moved to tie up former Man of Steel Brett Hodgson after he played a key role in their flying start to the 2014 First Utility Super League season.

Hodgson, 35, has been working with the Vikings in a part-time capacity as a coaching consultant since hanging up his boots at the end of last season and helped them to five wins from their first six matches.

He has been working as a freelance until now, with Hull full-back Jamie Shaul particularly grateful for his input in East Yorkshire, but from November Hodgson will be full-time at Widnes after being appointed as one of head coach Denis Betts' assistants on a two-year contract.

Betts said: "We've seen already what great value he can offer the club and its players and for him to be around in a full-time capacity will only enhance our environment.

"I've been on the look out for a specialist coach in certain key areas and Brett fits the bill perfectly. He's made a difference in the short time he's been here and we will look forward to him being around over the next few years."

Widnes chief executive James Rule said: "Brett has had a fantastic impact on the Vikings environment this season. Every one of our players, from the grassroots right through to first team, will benefit from the appointment.

"It's a hugely significant step forward for our club."

Hodgson, a former Huddersfield captain who was named Man of Steel in 2009, said: "It's a challenge I'm really excited about. I'm keen to progress as a coach and this is the next step for me."