Veteran Warrior loving life at Wigan.
Having brought up a double ton of Wigan Warriors appearances, Pat Richards admits he does not know what the future holds, but he is in no rush to sort it out.
The Australian winger arrived in the north-west of England from Wests Tigers back in 2006, initially eyeing up a two-year stay.
But two years have turned into seven and the 31-year-old marked his 200th game for the Warriors in style last Friday night, scoring his 150th try for the club in a 38-0 demolition of Catalan Dragons.
How many Wigan games Richards will ultimately rack up remains up in the air, however, with his contract set to expire after the current Super League season.
But the New South Wales man is not going to let uncertainty regarding his future creep into his game, especially not with Wigan sitting second in the table and with a trip to defending Super League champions Leeds Rhinos next up on Friday.
“I couldn’t have written it better if I had tried, making my 200th appearance for Wigan and scoring a try in a big win,” said Richards, who won the 2010 Super League title with the Warriors and was top points, try and goal scorer in the process.
“I am obviously very proud to have played 200 games for Wigan and it is an honour to reach such a milestone as it is something I definitely didn’t think I would do when I first arrived.
“I originally came for just two years but I ended up extending my stay every time. I didn’t think I would be here that long but I have loved every minute of it.
“My contract is up this year but I will work it out when I have to. I am enjoying my footy at the moment and the team is going well and that is all that matters.
“We have a pretty young side right now and a lot of the guys have really stepped up and that will be important against Leeds Rhinos, which will be a massive game for us and the two teams tend to bring the best out of each other.”
While Richards celebrated another two milestones in England, one man looking to get his Super League career back on track is Bradford Bulls’ Adrian Purtell.
The 28-year-old former Penrith Panther has not played since suffering a heart attack on May 27 but could make his long-awaited return against Hull KR on Sunday.
“It would be remarkable to see Adrian back,” said Bulls coach Francis Cummins. “When it happened, you thought that would be it – both for his real life as well as his profession – but all credit to him.
“He has come through some tough moments but on the whole he has been very positive. It would be great for him, great for the club and great for the game to see him back.”
But Purtell’s potential comeback will not change anything for Hull KR second-rower Corey Paterson, who is urging his side to carry on the form that has seen them climb into the top eight after back-to-back wins against Warrington Wolves and London Broncos.
“Wins are massive,” the former North Queensland Cowboy said. “The confidence they bring is big in a contact sport like rugby league, as momentum is hard to gain but easy to lose.
“Being in the top eight is nice, but we can’t get too far ahead of ourselves as we have only played six matches.”