Pat Richards: Wigan Warriors winger to return to Wests Tigers
Wigan Warriors winger Pat Richards has agreed a two-year deal with NRL side Wests Tigers starting from next season.
Australian Richards, 31, who signed in 2006 from the Tigers, was voted Super League's Man of Steel in 2010, when he helped Wigan win the Grand Final.
"I've had time to digest it and understand why Pat's decided to take his family home," Wigan coach Shaun Wane told BBC Radio Manchester.
"I would never stand in his way after what he's done for our club," he added.
"We're halfway through the year but I would love to win something with Paddy Richards.
"I really admire him. He's an outstanding individual. He's a good man who has done a lot of things that people don't know about behind the scenes at this club, things in team meetings and things like that.
"He's just like a Wiganer. He understands the culture. He's a fantastic man, great in training. He drives everyone really hard and has been perfect for me.
"I wanted to give him a new deal. I don't want him to go. But he told me a couple of weeks ago that he was going.
"His kids are at an age where they are ready to start school. I have kids, I know what it's like, so I understand it.
"Paddy has loved it here but his mind was made up. He wants to go."
Richards, who also helped Wigan win the Challenge Cup at Wembley in 2011, is the third Warriors player to agree a move to Australia this week .
But the arrivals lounge at the DW Stadium has also been busy, with former Wales Grand slam winner Andy Powell having been signed up from union this week and impressive second-row Liam Farrell having signed a new five-year contract.