GIL Dudson has secured a move to Widnes on a two-year deal.
Coach Shaun Wane says letting the prop leave was “the right thing to do” given the limited chances of first-team action at Wigan.
Scott Taylor (Salford, loan) and Eddy Pettybourne (personal reasons) have also left the Warriors in the off-season, but the club remain well-stocked in the front-row department.
New signings Taulima Tautai, Larne Patrick and Lee Mossop join Dom Crosby, Ben Flower and Tony Clubb, as well as academy-products James Greenwood and Ryan Sutton.
Dudson, 24, joined the Warriors in 2012 from Crusaders RL and won both the Challenge Cup and Super League Grand Final in 2013.
However he only made 15 appearances in 2014.
Wane said: “Gil found chances hard to come by last year and with competition for places in the front row set to be even more intense this year I simply couldn’t guarantee him the game time that he wanted.
“With that in mind it seemed the right thing to do was to let him join another team. Widnes are a great club that are on the up and I wish them and Gil all the best for the future.”
Widnes’ interest in Dudson was first reported by the Wigan Evening Post back in December. And even last week, we reported the Vikings remained hopeful of completing a deal.
Catalans, Huddersfield and NRL club Parramatta had also shown interest in him.
Widnes coach Denis Betts said: “We’ve been talking about Gil for a number of months and he’s a player we have had to be a little bit patient with.
“Signing Gil shows our drive and ambition to make this squad stronger with the right kind of people.
“He is big, he’s strong, he’s got international pedigree, and I think he is young enough to really make a massive mark in the game over the next few years.”
The Cheshire club say the financial contribution offered by the Vikings Quid’s In scheme (VIQI) made this signing possible.