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

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The Independent Online

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."