Hansen warns Widnes players to be treat London game like cup final

Harrison Hansen says Widnes must treat every game like a cup final as they begin their Qualifiers campaign.

The seasoned back-rower has more experience of the Qualifiers than anyone, having played in all three previous instalments of the competition during his time at Salford and Leigh.

His experience was a key motive for head coach Francis Cummins to pull him in for the business end of the season.

Now, Hansen is hoping to repay that faith by being the driving force behind the Vikings’ survival.

“It’s a great challenge playing in the middles 8s,” he said.

“I’ve always relished challenges and I always play well when I’m up against it. I’ve had experience of the middles 8s with Leigh and the highs and lows of promotion and relegation. I know what it takes to do well and I can bring that experience into the Widnes team.

“I know the enormity of the middle 8s. Every game has to be counted as a Grand Final game. If I can add what I know I can to the team then that’s great for the club. I just hope the fans get out.”

Hansen turns 33 this year, but despite his advancing years he insists he still has plenty to give to the Vikings.

“I’ll give it my all, I’ll play and train tough and I expect those high standards to be matched by my team-mates.

“I’m an old head but I’ve plenty of years left in my body. I’ve been playing some of my best rugby this year in a long time. I’m going to continue the way I’m playing until the end of the year and into next year too.”