Richards puts team first

Wigan scoring machine Pat Richards will put personal glory to one side when the Warriors face Leeds Rhinos in Saturday’s enticing Engage Super League do-or-die play-off at Headingley.

Wigan head for Leeds as favourites to win the Qualifying Semi-final and with Richards as short-odds favourite to be crowned Engage Super League Man of Steel at next week’s end-of-season dinner in Manchester.

However Richards insists personal accolades are secondary to team success and he is determined to play his part in helping Wigan win their first Grand Final since 1998.

“To be nominated for the Man Of Steel award is a massive honour for me,” said Richards. “But everyone here as a group has worked really hard this season and I’ve benefitted from that.

“It’s my job to score tries and get points but I can only do that if the boys in the middle are doing their job so it’s not down to me individually. I’ve been happy with my form lately but when you’ve got good players playing around who are at the top of their game then that helps lift your game as well.

“Hopefully everyone at the club can continue to put in those sort of performances for a few weeks more and finish the season off well.”

Richards is yet to appear in a Super League Grand Final in his five years with Wigan but he has title-winning experience from his time with West Tigers who won the NRL in 2005 and he is hungry for another taste of success.

“Since winning the NRL in Australia one of my goals has been to win a title over here,” he said. “The opportunity to win a title here was one of the reasons I wanted to come over.

“We’ve been close in the last few years and got into semi-finals but we just haven’t managed to take the final step so to finally get to Old Trafford and to win the Grand Final would be a massive achievement, both for myself personally and for the team as a whole but we’ve got a big game to come first.

“We’re all looking forward to this weekend against Leeds and hopefully we can do a good job on the pitch.”

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