ON-LOAN hooker Paul McShane is a man with a point to prove.
At the start of the Super League XVII season, the 22-year-old was handed the coveted No9 shirt at Leeds Rhinos in place of the departed Danny Buderus.
It was a sign the Headingley clubs were expecting big things from a player who had spent the early part of his top-flight career on loan at Hull FC.
But due to the outstanding form of half-back-turned-hooker Rob Burrow and on-loan Giants No9 Shaun Lunt, McShane has been unable to make a meaningful impact at the Rhinos in 2012.
And that has prompted his on-loan move to Widnes this week as he looks to gain regular first-team action and show the rest of Super League that he’s a player who deserves the utmost respect.
DENIS Betts knows his team are building from square one this season.
Betts, who came back from a stint in rugby union with Gloucester to coach the Cheshire-based outfit, was always going to find it difficult to put a side capable of anything more than the lower end of the table.
Spending seven years out of the top flight was always going to make the Vikings’ task incredibly tough.
The capture of Kevin Brown for the 2013 season signifies his and owner Steve O’Connor’s intentions for the Vikings, but is the former Wigan coach the man to guide Widnes back to former glories?
Only time will tell.
WOEFUL Widnes will be desperate to rectify their recent form.
The newest members of Super League have so far endured a torrid opening campaign and sit bottom of the ladder.
Their performance at the Magic Weekend will provide them with no confidence coming into this one either.
They were battered in a 68-4 defeat by derby rivals Warrington, in perhaps the only one-sided affair of the entire Manchester festival.
With two wins all season against fellow strugglers London and a weakened Wigan line-up, there does not seem to be much of a silver lining at the club.
This week’s loan signing of Paul McShane from the Rhinos should give them some of the go forward they have been lacking since they released now Giants hooker Scott Moore.
Though the biggest signing the Vikings have made will be for next season, as the Giants’ very own captain Kevin Brown joins them in a bid to get them fighting for the play-offs.
Despite this season being more or less over, they could still cause a shock to Huddersfield and they nearly did the last time they played on their plastic i-pitch when running the Catalans close.
A return to the form they showed against the Dragons will be their No1 priority right now.