|Full name||Gareth Edward Widdop|
12 March 1989 |
Halifax, West Yorkshire, England
|Height||183 cm (6 ft 0 in)|
|Weight||90 kg (14 st 2 lb)|
|Position||Fullback, Five-eighth, Halfback|
|2014||St. George Illawarra||0||0||0||0||0|
|As of 16 June 2013|
Gareth Widdop (born 12 March 1989 in Halifax, West Yorkshire) is an English professional rugby league footballer currently playing for Australian club Melbourne Storm of the National Rugby League. An England international representative fullback, he can fit in anywhere in the backline such as centre or in the halves.
Gareth grew up in Halifax, England where he played his junior rugby for King Cross before moving to Melbourne with his family at the age of 16. As a teenager Widdop went to the 2006 NRL Grand Final and continued to play in the Victoria Rugby League for Altona Roosters under his father Gary. He was introduced to the Storm by Dean Lance and was taken into the Storms Academy U18 program by Paul Bramley the High Performance Manager at the time, he went onto represent Victoria and the Australian Affiliated U18 Schoolboys and he eventually signed for Melbourne Storms' Under 20s team. He made the NYC team of the year and also scored the match winning try and goal in the Toyota Cup Grand Final for the Storm against the Wests Tigers Under 20's. He was named the Storms' NYC player of the year in 2009.
2010: Rookie season
In 2010, Widdop's first season in the first team at Melbourne Storm, he was named in Melbournes' 23-man touring party in preparation for the 2010 World Club Challenge against Leeds Rhinos but was not chosen to play but did pick up the man of the match award in their warm up game against the Harlequins . His first game for the Storm was in Round 7 against the New Zealand Warriors where he played centre at Etihad Stadium. Round 12 saw him appear at Fullback in place of the rested Billy Slater. Widdop scored a try and 3 conversions in the match at AAMI Park. Widdop was put back in the centres for his third and final appearance in 2010 for the Storm, the Round 25 clash against the Wests Tigers.
2011: Second Season
Widdop appeared in every game for the Storm during the 2011 season, his first try came in Round 3 against North Queensland Cowboys. Gareth kicked a goal in Round 5 and Round 13 he also kicked a further 4 goals in Round 14, in this game he also kicked a field goal. He scored a try against the New Zealand Warriors in Round 16 and he kicked a goal in Round 18. He recently signed a new deal to remain with the Storm for another 2 years with a 3rd year option.
2012: Third Season
Widdop appeared in every game for the Storm in the 2012 season (except Round 22) including the finals series game against South Sydney Rabbitohs, Manly Sea Eagles and Canterbury Bulldogs. His first points of the season came in the form of a goal in Round 3 against Gold Coast Titans. He also kicked a goal against Sydney Roosters in Round 4. Widdop scored his first try of the season against Newcastle Knights in Round 5, capitalizing on Cameron Smith's lovely pass to touch down after an impressive right foot step to beat Jarrod Mullen. Gareth also kicked a goal in Round 9 against Penrith Panthers. Widdop kicked 5 goals in Round 12 (Brisbane Broncos). Gareth scored a try in Round 13 (New Zealand Warriors). Widdop kicked a goal in Round 14 (Wests Tigers). Gareth kicked 2 goals in Round 18 (Canberra Raiders). Widdop scored a try in Round 19 (North Queensland Cowboys). Gareth scored another try in Round 23 (Gold Coast Titans). He kicked a goal in the semi-final game against Manly Sea Eagles in which the Storm won 40-12. Widdop topped off a great 2012 season with a 14-4 Grand Final win over the Canterbury Bulldogs.
2013: Fourth Season
Widdop started the 2013 season as the Stand Off in Melbourne Storm's 18-14 win over Super League champions Leeds Rhinos in the 2013 World Club Challenge. He played from Round 1 to Round 14. He scored a try in Round 1 against St George Dragons, he also kicked a goal in Round 2 against North Queensland Cowboys. Widdop also kicked a goal in Round 5 against Wests Tigers. Gareth scored the winning try in the Round 6 win against South Sydney Rabbitohs. He also scored in the Storm's 38-6 win in Round 13 against Cronulla Sharks.
On 1 June 2010 Widdop received a surprise call-up into new England coach Steve McNamara's 19-man squad for the match against France on 12 June 2010. He featured at Full Back and scored a try with his first touch of the ball, he also kicked 2 goals when Sinfield was substituted. In mid-September he was once again called up to the England squad but this time for the Four Nations, he started at Full Back in the 18-18 draw in the warm up match against New Zealand Māori side in which he kicked 3 goals. Widdop was once again on the scoresheet as England lost their opening game 24-10 against reigning world champions New Zealand by scoring a try and kicking a goal. He was not selected for the game against Australia but was on the bench in the final game against Papua New Guinea where he came on at centre to kick a goal in the 36-10 victory.
In his first international game of 2011 he was selected on the Bench for the 32-18 win in the test against France. Widdop was also on the Bench for the 2011 Four Nations opening game against Wales where he scored a try with the final play of the game. He also featured off the Bench in the 36-20 loss to Australia at Wembley Stadium. Gareth once again came off the Bench in the 28-6 win over New Zealand, Widdop had a last minute try disallowed. Widdop once again featured on the Bench in the 30-8 loss to Australia in the 2011 Four Nations final.
- Stott, Julie (23 October 2011). "England Four Nations Pen Pics". News of the World (UK: News Group Newspapers Ltd.). Retrieved 6 October 2010.
- Gareth Widdop rugbyleagueproject.org
- Gareth Widdop rleague.com
- "Storm name World Club Challenge party". superleague.co.uk. 16 February 2010. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
- "World Club Challenge squad chosen". melbournestorm.co.au. 16 February 2010. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
- Gareth Widdop to Join Dragons in 2014 - St.George Illawarra Dragons
- Profile at melbournestorm.com.au
- Profile at rleague.com
- International Statistics at englandrl.co.uk
- Statistics at rugbyleagueproject.org