At the age of 32, former Wigan Warriors favourite Pat Richards is line for a sensational State of Origin debut this year, according to reports in Australia.
Having spent the last eight years at Wigan – winning every honour available to him in the English club game – Richards has been a revelation since heading back to Australia, with the club whom he won the 2005 NRL Premiership.
His goalkicking and general play have seen him catch the eye of many, apparently including New South Wales coach Laurie Daley. However, Richards admits it is not something he has given much thought to.
“That’s the first I’ve heard of it, that’s put me on the spot a little bit,” Richards told the Australian media.
“Obviously that’s the pinnacle of the game and to even get mentioned is very flattering.
“I just wanted to work as hard as I can first and foremost to break into the Tigers team. There are so many good youngsters coming in, that was my only concern and still is.”
It would be a sensational story should Richards make the grade and actually play Origin rugby in 2014. At the age of 32, he would be one of the latest debutantes in the history of Origin rugby. And given how key a role he has played in the Tigers’ promising start to the season, it would be just rewards for a man who is still loved by many English fans – particularly those who wear cherry and white.