Hock happy to look ahead
England forward Gareth Hock is looking forward to making a fresh start after moving on loan from Wigan Warriors to Widnes Vikings.
The 29-year-old back-row forward opted to link up with his old Wigan team-mate Denis Betts, the Vikings head coach, at the Halton Stadium after experiencing a major fall-out with the Warriors.
Hock was heavily criticised by Wigan, who stood by him during his two-year drugs ban and revealed he had refused to train with them in the close season in order to facilitate a move.
After being unveiled at a press conference at Widnes, Hock declined to comment on the breakdown of his relationship with his home-town club but spoke of his excitement at a season-long move to Widnes.
“Things have happened at Wigan,” Hock told Press Association Sport. “It’s a fresh start and I’m really looking forward to it.
“There were a few clubs on the phone but I had my heart set on Widnes. I like being in a good environment and I’ve got a lot of friends here. I can’t wait to get playing.
“I know Denis really well. I’ve played with him. That was one of the reasons. It was an easy choice for me.”
Hock will also link up with former Wigan stand-off Kevin Brown, his brother-in-law with whom he is currently sharing a house in Orrell.
He is currently sidelined with a shoulder injury but has set himself a target of making his Widnes debut against St Helens at the Halton Stadium on February 10.
“I’m looking at the second game,” he said. “I’ve had my medical and it’s not as bad as they thought. I had four pieces of bone taken out and some cartilage cleaned up.
“I’m running and doing my rehab and I’ll start doing contact soon.”
Widnes faced competition from a number of clubs once Hock’s availability became known and Betts is delighted to get his man.
“I was made aware that Wigan wanted to put Gareth out on loan and we got on with it,” Betts said.
“I have a good relationship with Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan and, once we started in negotiations, I felt it was very important to get someone of Gareth’s quality into our team.”