VIKINGS enforcer Hep Cahill has signed a two-year contract extension which will keep him at the Club until at least the end of 2016.

The 27-year-old signed for Widnes from Crusaders at the beginning of the Vikings’ return to Super League and the Kiwi has been a massive part of the Club’s on the field development.

The former Melbourne Storm back rower, a former player of the year at Widnes, has been limited to less than a dozen appearances this year through niggling neck injuries but he’s now fully fit and he says he’s looking forward to the future.

He said: “The contract is done and dusted and I can just focus on the rest of the season and I’m really excited about what’s to come.

“I’ve had a few games now and I’m getting my match fitness back up. I’m only going to get better and hopefully I’ll move forward with the team and I can’t wait to rip in tonight and for the rest of the season.

“I’ve been here from the start of Super League and I’m part of something special which is being built here by Denis (Betts) at Widnes Vikings. I’m enjoying being here and playing for the Club and I think we’ve got a bright future ahead of us.

“The race for the top eight is hotting up now and we have a few teams right behind us, so it’s a good time to be involved. The boys are working hard but we know where we want to be and that’s play-off footy. We know what we have to do to get there and we will give it everything to get there.”

The New Zealander, who has scored four tries in 53 Vikings’ appearances, also says the culture created at Widnes by the Vikings coaching staff is another contributing factor in him re-signing at the Lower House Lane Club.

He added: “We have such a tight group at Widnes and that was also a big reason for me signing for another couple of years. Widnes is unlike any club I’ve been at before. Not having any family here can be hard but we’ve got such a good group of guys here it makes it so easy and I think that shows on the pitch.”

Widnes Head Coach Denis Betts says Cahill, his 12th signing of the season from this year’s crop of Vikings, has a big role to play in the Club’s future.

He said: “Hep has been huge since he's been at the Club. His work rate and his ability have helped us move forward.

"He appreciates the fact the he's been getting better each year himself, too.

"He's been hampered by injury this season but when he has played, he's been exceptional. His workrate is such that it's hard not to have him in the side week in, week out.

"Hep's a big part of the culture of the Club. That's why you want to have people like him around.

"The likes of him, Kevin Brown, Danny Tickle, Willie Isa and Pat Ah Van give the culture of the Club so much substance.

"Hep comes in and works with young kids off his own bat. He'll spend time with our 16s and 15s.

"He's a great bloke to have in your system as well as being tough as teak and fearless in what he does on the field."