Pat Richards

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Pat Richards
Pat Richards.jpg
Richards playing for Wigan in 2008
Personal information
Full name Patrick Richards
Born (1982-02-27) 27 February 1982 (age 32)
Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia
Height 192 cm (6 ft 4 in)
Weight 99 kg (15 st 8 lb) [1]
Playing information
Position Wing, Fullback, Centre
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2000–03 Parramatta Eels 37 14 4 0 64
2004–05 Wests Tigers 39 26 0 0 104
2006–13 Wigan Warriors 224 167 895 4 2462
2014– Wests Tigers 20 9 54 1 145
Total 320 216 953 5 2775
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2008–13 Ireland 7 3 11 0 34
2011–13 Exiles 2 0 3 0 6
As of 5 August 2014
Source: Rugby League Project, NRL Stats

Pat Richards (born 27 February 1982 in Liverpool, New South Wales) is an Irish-Australian professional rugby league footballer for the Wests Tigers of Australia's National Rugby League. An Ireland international representative winger, he previously played in the National Rugby League for Sydney clubs Parramatta Eels and Wests Tigers, winning the 2005 premiership with Wests. Following his move to Super League, Richards was awarded the 2010 Man of Steel Award, finishing as the season's top point scorer before helping Wigan to victory in both the 2010 and 2013 Super League Grand Final.

Biography[edit]

Born in Liverpool, New South Wales to Irish parents, Richards attended St Therese Primary School and Westfields Sports High School. He played junior rugby league for the Cabramatta club.

Professional playing career[edit]

Parramatta Eels (2000–2003)[edit]

Richards played for Parramatta Eels between 2000-2003. In 2001 he was unable to play in the grand final due to a broken leg.[2] After the 2003 season Richards moved to Wests Tigers.

Wests Tigers (2004–2005)[edit]

He enjoyed a successful 2005 season with the Tigers. He scored a club record 20 tries during the season, since surpassed by Taniela Tuiaki. Richards' drop kicks/outs and towering kick-offs were instrumental in gaining valuable field position for the team during their premiership year.[3]

Despite suffering an ankle ligament injury the week prior, Richards was cleared to play in the 2005 NRL Grand Final against North Queensland Cowboys.[3] Richards' try from a Benji Marshall flick pass was a highlight of the Wests Tigers' win.[4]

Wigan (2006–2013)[edit]

Richards signed a two-year contract with Wigan for the 2006 and 2007 seasons in June 2005. Speaking from Sydney on the day of his signing for Wigan, Pat Richards said, "I had three enquiries from leading Super League clubs but I feel sure that Wigan is the club for me. They are strengthening well for next year and Ian Millward is a very successful coach. I am looking forward to joining the club." Head Coach Ian Millward also commented, "Pat is the ideal player for the modern game. He is over 6 feet tall, fields high balls very well and has a special and powerful kicking game. In keeping with the modern game he gives us cover for several positions. He also has an Irish background and he may bring a bit of the Irish luck with him." [5] Because of his Irish EU passport he did not count in Wigan's overseas quota.[6]

He started his Wigan career playing in the centre rather than his usually position of winger. He scored 12 tries and kicked 12 goals in 25 appearance during the 2006 season but there was some criticism of Wigan coach Ian Millward for playing him out of position as it was clear that Richards was not suited to playing at centre. At the end of the 2006 season winger Brett Dallas retired from rugby league which allowed Richards to move back to his usually position of winger for the 2007. At the start of 2007 he was given the squad number 5 and was also promoted to first goal kicker after the other goal kickers, Michael Dobson, Danny Orr and Wayne Godwin left Wigan at the end of 2006. Despite not previously being a regular goal kicker, Pat quickly developed the skills. After 27 appearances in 2007 he scored 14 tries, kicked 103 goals and was Man-of-the-Match 4 times. Mid-way through the season, Richards was moved to full back after Michael Withers' retirement.

On 21 September 2007 he kicked the vital drop goal to give Wigan a 31-30 win over Bradford. It completed the biggest comeback in Super League history.[7]

In 2008, Richards was the Wigan Player of the Season scoring 19 tries and getting a total of 375 points in one season meaning he was the top points scorer in Super League that year as he was the previous year. He also signed a new 3 year deal with Wigan mid-2008 stating he and his family were settled at the club and loved the town.

Richards made himself available for Ireland's 2008 Rugby League World Cup campaign.[8][9][10]

In August 2008, Richards was named in the Ireland training squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup,[11] and in October 2008 he was named in the final 24-man Ireland squad.[12] He featured prominently in the tournament; in Ireland's win over Samoa on 5 November, Richards scored 22 of the team's 34 points, including three tries.[13]

Richards continued to be a stand out performer for Wigan in 2009 and was again selected to play for Ireland in the 2009 European Cup.[14]

Richards' try-scoring exploits and accuracy with the boot proved vital for Wigan's push for honours in 2010. He often had to occupy the full back position in the absence of the injured Cameron Phelps and Amos Roberts.

Pat Richards was the first Australian player to score 1,000 points or more for the Wigan club. On 27 February 2010 Richards scored 5 tries and kicked 9 goals against Catalans Dragons in a 58-0 victory for Wigan. His 38 points was the most in one match for a Wigan player in the Super League era.[15]

On 3 September 2010, in a game against Bradford Richards equalled the record for the most points in a regular Super League season. Scoring 14 on the night he matched Andrew Farrell's impressive 388 points. Later in September it was announced that Richards is one of three players nominated for the prestigious Man-of-Steel award.

Pat won the Man-of-Steel award on Monday, 27 September 2010, beating Adrian Morley and team mate Sam Tomkins to the accolade.[16] He was also the joint Albert Goldthorpe Medal winner with team mate Sam Tomkins as the Super League player of the 2010 season.[17] The total of 462 points that Richards scored over the 2010 season set a new club record at Wigan.[18]

Richards' 2011 season was delayed after the Achilles tendon injury picked up during the 2010 Grand Final kept him out for five to six months.[19] His first appearance in 2010's Super League XV came in Round 9 against Catalans Dragons, where he took over the kicking duties and landed four goals.[20] Three tries over the Easter period, including a brace against St Helens gave him his first tries of the campaign, and this was followed up at Crusaders RL with another touchdown, as well as seven goals.[21][22][23]

Pat Richards was selected for the Exiles squad for the inaugural International Origin Match against England at Headingley on 10 June 2011.[24]

Richards played on the wing for Wigan in the 2011 Challenge Cup final, kicking 4 goals from 5 attempts in his side's victory over Leeds.

On April 26, 2013 he signed for Wests Tigers in the NRL on two-year deal from 2014.[25] He was 32 by the time the season started.

Wests Tigers (2014–Present)[edit]

Scoring a try with his first touch of the ball, Richards contributed 12 points in his return to the Wests Tigers.[26] In his second game, he scored two tries and kicked seven goals, and kicked a 72-metre drop-out that some thought might be a "world record".[27] Early in the season, Richards was the competition's leading point-scorer, and was considered a possibility for State of Origin by New South Wales coach Laurie Daley.[28] He finished the year as the club's leading try-scorer and point-scorer.[29]

Career highlights[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wigan Warriiors Player Profile Pat Richards". web page. wiganwarriors.com. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  2. ^ Walter, Brad (3 October 2005). "Richards gets maximum gain from all the pain". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 25 September 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Richards cleared to play in NRL final". Melbourne: The Age. 1 October 2005. Retrieved 18 January 2009. 
  4. ^ Roy Masters (3 October 2005). "Princes of turf feed on roar emotion". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 18 January 2009. 
  5. ^ "Wigan capture Pat Richards - AAP Sports News (Australia) 3 June 2005". 
  6. ^ snare Tigers' Richards ABC, 3 June 2005
  7. ^ "Wigan keep title hopes alive". metro.co.uk. 
  8. ^ "Kelly reveals interest". teletext.co.uk. 1 May 2008. Retrieved 1 May 2008. [dead link][dead link]
  9. ^ Collins, Ben: "Kelly eyes Cup stir by Irish", pages 18-19. Rugby League World, April 2008
  10. ^ "White Eyes a Green Jersey". RLWC08.com. 21 July 2008. Retrieved 30 July 2008. 
  11. ^ "Ireland Name World Cup 40 Man Training Squad". Rugby League Ireland. 1 August 2008. Retrieved 2 August 2008. [dead link]
  12. ^ "Cassidy included in Ireland squad". BBC. 7 October 2008. Retrieved 7 October 2008. 
  13. ^ Dave Hadfield (6 November 2008). "Richards earns Irish an upgrade". London: ABC News. Retrieved 10 November 2008. 
  14. ^ "Ireland name Euro Cup squad". UKPA. 8 October 2009. Retrieved 17 October 2009. 
  15. ^ "Wigan 58-0 Catalans Dragons". BBC News. 26 February 2010. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  16. ^ "Trio nominated for Man of Steel". BBC News. 16 September 2010. 
  17. ^ "The Albert Goldthorpe Awards". totalrl.com. League Publications. Retrieved 16 February 2014. 
  18. ^ "RECORDS" at wiganwarriors.com
  19. ^ "Wigan's Pat Richards out with Achilles tendon tear". BBC. 3 October 2010. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  20. ^ "Wigan 28 Catalan Dragons 47: Dureau the hero as champions suffer home hammering". Daily Mail. 9 April 2011. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  21. ^ Walker, Gareth (22 April 2011). "Wigan leave it late as Liam Farrell try breaks St Helens' hearts". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  22. ^ "Wakefield 0 Wigan 26: Woeful Wildcats tamed by Tomkins as champions roll on". Daily Mail. 25 April 2011. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  23. ^ "Crusaders 16-48 Wigan Warriors". BBC. 1 May 2011. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  24. ^ "Warrington dominate Exiles picks for Origin fixture". bbc.co.uk. 2011-05-04. Retrieved 2011-05-04. 
  25. ^ <http://www.weststigers.com.au/news-display/Wests-Tigers-sign-Pat-Richards/73297>
  26. ^ Brad Walter (9 March 2014). "Gareth Widdop stars as Dragons outlast Tigers". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 20 March 2014. 
  27. ^ Brad Walter (17 March 2014). "World Record Dropout?". Triple M. Retrieved 20 March 2014. 
  28. ^ Proszenko, Adrian (15 April 2014). "Pat Richards waiting in the wings for Blues". Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax). Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  29. ^ "Wests Tigers Player List". nrl.com. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  30. ^ http://www.sportinglife.com/rugbyleague/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=rleague/10/09/27/manual_183748.html

External links[edit]