Ian Millward praises Will Matthews

Ian Millward praises Will Matthews widnesvikings.co.uk

17th October 2017

Ian Millward, St George Illawarra Dragons’ Director of Rugby, says that Widnes Vikings have secured a player who ‘ticks all the boxes’ in Will Matthews.

As a man who knows both the talents of Matthews and what it takes to make it in the Super League, Millward is perfectly positioned to judge the forward’s potential to make an impact in England. He has no doubt about the quality that Matthews will bring.

“Will is a really good buy for Widnes Vikings. He’s suited to English Rugby League for quite a few reasons”, Millward explains, before reeling off an impressive list of attributes.

“He is a very good running player, has good footwork and a left-foot step. He can offload the ball well, and also be adventurous and damaging with it too. He’ll be really suited to the Super League and will improve Widnes Vikings.”

Millward explains that Matthews has all-round skill and explosive abilities on the field, matched by real leadership qualities off it.

“Will does it at both ends, in attack and defence. Defensively there are quite a few examples of him going through the middle of people, forcing errors or coming up with a really big tackle. He brings a good skill-set.”

“The most important thing about him though is he’s a really good person. He is someone who is liked by everyone because of how he goes about his business. He is well respected by his coaches and teammates.”

The Vikings beat competition from several Super League clubs to secure Matthews’ signature last month. Ian explains that Matthews has in fact been a much sought-after player in recent seasons. 

“Last year, we had clubs in England that were interested in him. He had offers, but wanted to stay with the Dragons. He had a fantastic pre-season but unfortunately had a hip injury that wiped out his season. He came back from that and played the last six games of the season, so his body is in good shape.”

“That experience made him realise he’d played a lot of first grade in the NRL, so now is a good time to try a different country. I endorsed him to a couple of clubs in the Super League, because I think he can be a great player in England, bringing a lot of different skills.”

Having faced a difficult injury, Millward was impressed with the nature of Matthews’ focus on recovering and the quality of his return to the field this season.

“He picked up that injury in a trial game. Will just goes about his business and is real professional, so there was no winging from him. He focussed on his recovery and came back really well.”

Millward has no doubts that Matthews has all the ingredients to become a real supporters’ favourite at the Vikings.

 “Will ticks all the boxes and is a great signing for the Club. He’s not fazed by anything, so he’ll quickly adapt to the Super League. On the quick surface at Widnes, he’ll be a handful with his footwork and ability to offload the ball.”

“He’s an 80-minute player and you get a lot of value from that. He brings a different way of generating points and creating opportunities. Widnes fans can be confident that he’ll help make them a better team.”

Be there to see Will and the boys in Super League action next season…join the Viking Stronghold! Sign up by 25th October to spread the costs of your Membership with 4.9% finance.

Will Matthews is proudly sponsored by Community Integrated Care.

Ian Millward praises Will Matthews widnesvikings.co.uk