The club are delighted to announce our second new signing of the 2024 season, as Scotland international prop Sam Brooks arrives from Championship side Barrow Raiders!
Returning for a second stint at the club after making five appearances for the Vikings between 2016 and 2017, Brooks can’t wait to get back into the swing of things at the DCBL Stadium.
“I first came here very early in my career, while the club were still in Super League. It was my first experience at the top level and I didn’t play as much as I would’ve liked, but at 23, I took so much from being in a full-time environment.”
“It was a real learning curve to be at such a big club, especially with the loyal fanbase Widnes has, and while it was a tough decision to leave, I wanted to be playing more often.”
Brooks is a Viking once again after six years away though, and is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2023 season at the Raiders. Restricted to just 14 matches, including none since early July, the Scotland front-rower wants to quickly establish a place in Widnes’ first-choice 17.
“At Barrow we were all disappointed with how this season went. After finishing 4th and reaching the play-offs in 2022, we wanted to kick on and improve this year, but we could just never put a good run of form together and only just stayed up in the end.”
“I can’t wait to get stuck into pre-season training here at Widnes, and I’m already anticipating my role in the team. I want to be playing every week, and know how hard I’ll need to work to achieve that. I’m 30 now, so bring plenty of experience, and I’ll do my best to perform as best I can for the team.”
Although the last of his 5 Scotland caps came back in 2017, Brooks has never forgotten the value of that experience, and the high-level environments of a World Cup or Four Nations camp. “We played against some of the world’s best players at those tournaments, and coming into a fairly youthful side at Widnes, I hope I can utilise that experience to help the team when we’re under pressure in games next season.”
Sam also brings prior experience of working with incoming Vikings head coach Allan Coleman, from their time together at Swinton Lions. “Allan took over at Swinton mid-way through 2021, and honestly he was a breath of fresh air at the club. I think he could have a similar impact here.”
“He’s a really switched-on coach and puts absolutely everything into the job. I know for one thing that he’ll implement a really good culture and atmosphere, and with such a talented squad that can only stand us in a good stead.”
Allan is looking forward to welcoming Brooks to the club, and working with the no-nonsense prop for a second time: “Sam will bring plenty of aggression and loads of experience to our pack. Having worked with him in the past; he’s got a brilliant tip-on game and a fantastic rugby brain.”
“He will bring a real professional approach both in training and in matches, something that can be hard to come by these days.”
We’re really looking forward to Sam being a cornerstone of our new-look pack in 2024, and will see you in a few short weeks for the start of pre-season, Broosky!