confirms Widnes farewell while Nash pledges future

Former New Zealand coach Frank Endacott will be in charge of Widnes for the last time at London on Sunday, he has confirmed.

The 57-year-old Kiwi is only halfway through a two-year Super League contract but, with the Vikings now virtually certain to be relegated, he has made plans to return home.

"I arranged the flight the other day," he said. "I was holding off and holding off but then I thought I'm just kidding myself here. I would say, barring a miracle, this would be our last match this week."

Two clubs are being relegated this year to make way for the arrival of French team Les Catalans and Widnes will go down alongside bottom club Leigh if the National League One Grand Final winners meet the criteria for engage Super League.

Endacott, who guided New Zealand to the 2000 World Cup final at Old Trafford, will return to work with the Auckland-based player-management company he owns jointly with former Salford player Peter Brown but he will not turn his back on coaching.

"I've been coaching for a long time now and I wouldn't want to make any stupid statements," he said. "If I had said it after Wigan, I wouldn't have been coaching Widnes.

"I'd be loathe to say I've retired but I'm certainly going to get right back into the player-management which I've had to put on hold for a year. Because of the conflict of interests, you can't do both. My partner has been taking the burden, so I'll get back to that 100%.

"It's been another great experience, I love it over here. I get a real buzz out of it. The only thing I haven't enjoyed has been the results. I've enjoyed my time at Widnes and the people have been fantastic."

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Widnes Vikings have announced that one of the club?s hottest young properties, Great Britain Academy tourist Steve Nash, will remain with the club.

The 19-year-old prop has turned down engage Super League offers from Leeds Rhinos, Bradford Bulls and Warrington Wolves to stay with his hometown club - even if they are playing in National League next season.

Nash became the first player to make the Widnes first team sqaud via the club's world class-accredited scholarship scheme when making his debut against Wigan Warriors and has played in the last four engage Super League games.

"I was flattered to receive offers from such big clubs but I am glad I have been able to stay here at Widnes," said Nash.

"I am still learning the game and even if Widnes are in National League next year it will only be for one season and by then I aim to be a first-team regular."

Vikings chairman Tony Chambers said: "Steve is one of the hottest properties in the game and we are delighted he has stayed loyal to the club.

"Despite a poor season our fans have continued to back us and excellent early-bird season ticket sales have meant we can continue to build our squad for next season."

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Thanks to www.superleague.co.uk for these stories.