Riddell already eyeing Wigan return - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Riddell already eyeing Wigan return

By Andy Hampson 04/10/2010 04:38:04 PM Comments (0)

Mark Riddell could be back at Wigan next season - as a fan.

The Australian hooker's two-year stint with the Warriors ended in glorious fashion with victory over St Helens in the Super League grand final on Saturday.

The 29-year-old former Parramatta and St George Illawarra player had intended to stay for another season at the DW Stadium but has been released to return home and be closer to his mother, who is suffering from cancer.

Yet victory at Old Trafford was a career highlight for Riddell and he wants to be back in Britain to see his team-mates take on his old club and newly-crowned NRL premiers the Dragons in the World Club Challenge.

Riddell, who currently has no plans to play again, said: "This is No.1 for me. I have been chasing one of these titles for 11 or 12 years in professional rugby.

"To finally get one at the end is something special.

"I am definitely going to miss the boys a lot.

"I am going to try to have a beer with each and every one of them over the next three days.

"I've got to think about getting back over here next year for the World Club Challenge or a bit later down the track for a few reunions.

"I'll definitely be thinking about that if I can get over, although there is probably a lot of emotion talking at the moment.

"I'll see what I'm doing and go from there."

Wigan's title success, their first since 1998, comes four years after the club flirted with relegation.

They have improved steadily since then, first under Brian Noble and then, this year, under new coach Michael Maguire.

Maguire's appointment has proved a masterstroke with the players having received plaudits for their condition and workrate all season. Riddell now believes the club will go on to even greater things without him.

"It is unbelievable. We have been working a long time for this and our boys worked really hard to get it.

"This what we wanted and we have finally got it.

"In the last three weeks we have been building towards some of the best rugby we have played all year.

"It was a great performance from everyone, everyone contributed.

"This is a special group here. The older, more experienced blokes have led us well all season and we have got some great kids coming through.

"Wigan is going to be in a very healthy position over the next few years."

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