Widnes Vikings captain Jon Clarke signs new contract

Captain Jon Clarke has signed a new contract that will keep him at Widnes until the end of the 2014 season.

The 34-year-old hooker joined the Vikings at the start of 2012 after a decade with Warrington Wolves.

"I'm delighted to extend my contract for another 12 months and equally as pleased that my body is allowing me to prolong my career," said Clarke.

"Hopefully we can kick on again for the remainder of this season and improve even further next year."

Over the next couple of seasons Widnes are going to be right up there challenging for honours. It's exciting to be part of that

Jon Clarke Widnes captain

He told the club website:  "I was part of a Warrington team that took an absolute age to reach where they are now and it was always going to take a while for the Vikings to achieve something similar.

"Things are only just beginning to snowball at Widnes, but the facts are there for all to see that we are evolving every single week, never mind every year.

"Over the next couple of seasons, Widnes are going to be right up there challenging for honours. It's exciting to be a part of that and I'm proud and privileged to be leading the team."

Head coach Denis Betts added: "Jon has been our best player by far all season. He is leading the team really well and offers us so much on the field.

"Now he's settled into life at Widnes, what we are now seeing are the reasons why we brought him here in the first place."

Steve Pickers gill, Phil Joseph, Alex Gerard and Chris Dean have all recently extended their contracts with the Vikings, who are 11th in Super League but only four points behind fifth-placed Catalan Dragons with a game in hand on the majority of the teams above them.