Rangi Chase has admitted he would be keen on a long-term stay at Widnes after Aaron Heremaia revealed he urged club officials to bring the halfback to the Vikings “at all costs”.
Chase was again influential on Thursday as Widnes picked up their third win in four games to keep their top-eight hopes alive, after victory against Leigh lifted them off the bottom of Super League.
And the 31-year-old said afterwards he’s happy to discuss a stay at Widnes beyond this season.
“Why not,” he said when asked if he could see himself staying. “I can’t get ahead of myself, but if I keep playing decent footy I’m sure something will come off the back of it.
“I’ve added something to the team, the players are getting familiar with me and vice-versa. It’s good in this part of the world; the fans are great and we’ve got a good feel about the place considering where we are.”
And Widnes team-mate Heremaia revealed how discussions with senior Widnes players prompted him to plead for Chase to come to the Select Security Stadium whatever it took.
“Denis (Betts) had a discussion with the senior players before Rangi came,” he said. “We had players out and weren’t going so well. My view was forget what he does off the field, it’s what he does on it.
“To be fair, the last six weeks he has been brilliant. He has knuckled down. All the lads have raised their game because of his presence around the field.
“The biggest thing for us is he has made our players play better. He has inspired them to want to play better.”
And both Chase and Heremaia refused to rule out the possibility of Widnes still avoiding the Qualifiers in 2017 ahead of this weekend’s game against Wigan.
Chase said: “We’ve got to take it a game at a time and keep improving – but if we keep doing that we’ll be alright. We’ve got to keep winning games.”
Heremaia added: “You never say never. We said this is the start of our next run.
“We have put one tick in the box so another four to go. If we have a performance like that, nine times out of ten you are going to get a result. If we end up in the eight on the back of four good victories, great. If we don’t then we go into the Qualifiers with confidence and playing well.”