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Richards eyes Super League farewell win

Wigan might be reeling from the loss of Sam Tomkins but Pat Richards is eyeing one last hurrah before the pair take to the NRL next season.
Richards eyes Super League farewell win
by AAP

By James Martin

LONDON, Sept 25 AFP - Wigan might be reeling from the loss of Sam Tomkins but Pat Richards is eyeing one last hurrah before the pair take to the NRL next season.

Tomkins's move to the Warriors in New Zealand, for a reported world-record fee of around STG700,000 ($A1.2 million), was confirmed on Monday after months of speculation.

Richards has known since April that he would be returning to the NRL and Wests Tigers - the club he left in 2005.

Both have made their mark on Wigan - 2010 Man of Steel Richards has scored 168 tries in 222 games while Tomkins has collected two Challenge Cups and a Super League title.

But with Leeds Rhinos to play Wigan on Friday in the second of two semi-finals, Richards admits the script could be written for the perfect farewell to their time in England.

"What stand out the most are the friendships I've made at the club and winning trophies," said the 31-year-old.

"I've been lucky enough to do that and I've got another opportunity, if we get through this week, to have another shot at a grand final."

The loss of 24-year-old Tomkins will be eased somewhat by the arrival of Matt Bowen after more than a decade with North Queensland.

And Richards, who came up against Bowen in the 2005 NRL grand final in which the Tigers beat the Cowboys 30-16, admits Wigan have made a shrewd signing.

"He'll add a lot to the Super League competition, not just Wigan," said Richards. "Positionally, I think he's one of the best in the world.

"He's great on his feet and he's got a great pass on him. He'll be a great replacement for Sam. He's a real quality player and I'm sure it won't take long for him to fit into the Wigan structure.

"The coaching staff will utilise his strengths and he'll certainly be a great signing."

Warrington Wolves face League Leaders' Shield winners Huddersfield in the first semi-final on Thursday.

The Giants have fallen victim to Warrington three times this season and Australian head coach Tony Smith is looking for that dominance to continue on Thursday evening.

"The fact that we got this far meant that we'd be playing tough opposition whichever team we faced. We realised and expected that and look forward to the challenge it will bring."


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