Anthony Gelling has ‘personally committed’ to Widnes for 2019 season, says Rule

Widnes chief executive James Rule has said that star signing for 2019 Anthony Gelling has ‘personally committed’ to honouring his deal with the Vikings in the Championship.

Rule, speaking exclusively to League Express as part of an in-depth Q&A on the club’s plans following relegation from Super League, is adamant that Gelling – who agreed a two-year deal with the Vikings in July – has promised to him that he will still return.

With a pregnant partner however, Rule admits they are working through the finer details of when the former Super League winner arrives at the club as they prepare for an immediate return to the top-flight next season. 

Rule told League Express: “Anthony has committed to me personally that he’s coming. His partner is pregnant, and we’re working through the mechanics and the timeframes of when he gets here.”

Rule also admitted he is determined to have the club’s next head coach in place within the next month, insisting there has been ‘plenty of interest’ in succeeding Francis Cummins.

“In an ideal world, I’d love to have someone in place for early next month as we start pre-season training,” he said. 

“We don’t want to rush things but at the same time, we don’t want to be a long way into pre-season without a coach.

“There’s been plenty of interest.The process is ongoing and we are working through a shortlist and conducting interviews.” League Express understands that former Wakefield and Hull head coach Richard Agar – who is currently working in the NRL – is not in the Vikings’ thoughts.

Rule also defended the fact he has been in charge of recruitment and retention at the club given the fact there is no head coach in place.

“It would have been negligent to just stop the process while we were working through the process or appointing a coach,” he said. 

“The time pressures are so intense that just sitting there and waiting was never an option.”