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Richards wants UK final before NRL return

Australian Pat Richards is aiming to take the emotion out of the game as he prepares to bid a fond farewell to Wigan after eight years.
Richards wants UK final before NRL return
by AAP

By Ian Laybourn

LONDON, Sept 27 PA - Australian Pat Richards is aiming to take the emotion out of the game as he prepares to bid a fond farewell to Wigan after eight years.

The 31-year-old goalkicking winger, who is returning to Wests Tigers in 2014, will be appearing at the DW Stadium for the last time in Friday night's Super League play-off semi-final against Leeds.

Richards' farewell has been overshadowed by the confirmation this week of Sam Tomkins' move to the Warriors in the NRL, but he is guaranteed a wonderful reception from the Wigan fans at the end of the match.

However, the 2010 Man of Steel is hoping it will not signal the end of his Super League career as he sets his sights on a return to Old Trafford for next Saturday's grand final.

"I suppose it will be a bit emotional but I'm going to try my best to take the emotion out of it," Richards said.

"We need to just go out there and perform and think about our roles in the team.

"At the end of the day, it is a game of rugby league, it's 80 minutes and the best side goes to Old Trafford.

"You can't be worrying about players leaving or even thinking about Old Trafford yet, it's about playing a really tough Leeds team.

"We know we're in for a great test because they're such a great team."

It promises to be emotional too for England forward Lee Mossop, who is also leaving the club to try his luck in the NRL with Parramatta, and teammate Ben Flower admits there is a collective desire to send the trio out on a high.

"That's one thing we've talked about," Flower said.

"For us as a team, we want the best for them.

"We want them to go out on a high and, if we can get to the grand final, it will top the season off for them."

Leeds will be aiming to ruin the party and stay on course for a third consecutive grand-final triumph.

They won at the DW Stadium in the last game of the regular season as well as in the corresponding match last year and demonstrated their big-match temperament to pip St Helens 11-10 a week ago, thanks to Danny McGuire's late drop goal.


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