Warrington Wolves have confirmed the signing of halfback Kevin Brown on a two-year deal for an undisclosed fee.
Brown, 32, became Warrington’s primary target following the departure of Chris Sandow last month, and the Wolves have reacted quickly to fill the void in the shape of the England international.
He joined Widnes in 2013 following spells with Wigan and Huddersfield, playing a significant role in their rise up Super League, which resulted in a seventh placed finish last year.
However, the former Widnes captain will now join last year’s Grand Finalists, having recently played for England in their Four Nations defeat to Australia.
Warrington’s head of coaching and rugby Tony Smith said: “I’m delighted and am really looking forward to working with Kevin full-time. I briefly worked with him in my time as national coach as he was in the train-on squad at one stage. He comes with a reputation of being a devoted trainer, in terms of working hard on his game and being very enthusiastic about improving.
“After being in a situation where we had to recruit late we had a lot of interest from all parts of the world; when Kevin expressed a strong interest in joining us it was an exciting prospect. I think he’ll learn a whole lot through us and certainly the quality of person he is will add a whole lot to our team both on and off the field too.”
Brown said: “Joining Warrington excites me. I want to win trophies and Warrington is a club that gives me a great chance to do this. With a great stadium and a big fan base I can’t wait to pull the jersey on. Being coached by Tony is something I’m really looking forward to and playing in such a talented squad is a dream. It’s all happened very quickly and I am going to enjoy meeting up with the team and training hard to earn their respect.
“I’d also like to thank Widnes and Denis Betts for the past four years; I’ve loved my time there and made some great friends. I will look back with some fond memories and hope the club does well in the future.”
In a statement, Widnes confirmed that they proceeded with negotiations after the player confirmed he would like discussions to take place, with the Vikings confirming they had received an ‘unsolicited’ approach.
“This is not a situation we initiated or indeed could have anticipated at this stage in the off-season,” said Widnes chief executive James Rule.
“However Kevin has been an outstanding player, leader and ambassador for our club over the last four years and we felt it was right to respect his wishes once he had confirmed he would like to take up a contract with Warrington Wolves.
“We can now look forward to being in a position where we can explore the available players that can enhance our team in the 2017 season. On behalf of myself, the directors, coaches, staff, members, players and sponsors of Widnes Vikings, I would like to thank Kevin for his outstanding contribution to the Club and wish him and his family the very best of luck for the future.”