Widnes have finally confirmed the names of 10 players who will leave the club at the end of the 2023 season.
Previously they had only announced the departure of Shane Grady, who announced his retirement prior to the final home game of the season against Sheffield.
Danny Craven’s exit had been widely speculated, with the player himself confirming his decision to move on following the defeat to the Eagles.
Headline forwards head for the exit door
Two further significant blows – the losses of academy produced forwards Adam Lawton and Owen Farnworth – have now been confirmed at the club’s end of season dinner.
Farnworth, now 24, had become the cornerstone of the Vikings pack and was named Player of the Year in 2022, before suffering injury in the pre-season defeat at St Helens which ruled him out of the first couple of months of the season.
He departs having made 81 appearances for the Vikings, including five in Super League.
Lawton’s second spell at the club ends with 31 tries in 72 appearances, as he became a regular feature in the pack either in his customary back-row or sometimes deployed as a front-rower.
Those appearances added to the 15 he previously made as a youngster in 2013 and 2014.
Joining them out of the exit door are fellow forwards Aaron Brown, Olly Davies and Lewis Hatton.
Davies is the sort of forward that rarely gets the headlines but does a lot of the unsung work, while at times in 2022, Brown looked like one of the best pound-for-pound signings Widnes had made.
Hatton was a player that impressed for several years at Swinton, and the sort of player that Widnes should have been looking at once they went part-time. He was a regular in the first half of the season, but only made two appearances following the departure of John Kear.
Wingers bid farewell
Also departing the DCBL Stadium are wingers Brad Holroyd and Ryan Millar.
Holroyd only managed 11 appearances in two seasons following his arrival from Workington, scoring five tries, while signing from Bradford Millar was a regular at the beginning of 2023, scoring seven tries in eight games across the entire campaign.
After a promising start in the first five, Millar didn’t feature again until the home defeat to Swinton, which was John Kear’s last game in charge. Millar was brought to the club by Kear, who he had worked under at Bradford.
The tenth is the already departed Kyle Amor, who hung up his boots mid-season.
Amor was quoted recently as saying “I realised the writing was on the wall for me at Saints and my media was taking off. I didn’t enjoy Widnes either, to be honest.”
There are eight other players who are off contract at the end of 2023, who have not been announced as leaving by the club.
Although no new deals have been announced, we should perhaps assume that Liam Bent, Ollie Brookes, Matt Fleming, Matty Fozard, Ryan Ince, Joe Lyons, Max Roberts and Sam Wilde will be staying at the DCBL Stadium.
The question remains just who will replace those that have departed. There has been very little speculation over incomings for Widnes, though Swinton duo Rhodri Lloyd and Mike Butt are thought to be following coach Allan Coleman from the Lions.
MORE: Widnes Vikings 2024 squad: Confirmed retentions, signings and rumours
Photo courtesy of RLPix