Riddell to Return Home

Riddell to Return Home

Mark Riddell says he will be "very disappointed" to leave Wigan after confirming he will cut short his stay to return to Australia.

The hooker - who was under contract with Warriors until the end of 2011 - will depart at the end of this season because his mother is ill.

And speaking to the Evening Post last night, he said: "I'm very disappointed that I'll be leaving, we're going very well this year and I love it here.

"I stewed over it for a long time but I had to put family first, I had to go that way.

"It was a tough decision to make, but this is the right one."

Riddell was signed from Parramatta in 2009 and, after a slow start, has made a real impression on the side this season.

Hailed by team-mates as one of the unsung heroes of Warriors' table-topping performances, the 29-year-old says his pending exit will make him even more determined to finish the season in style.

"It's the last chance for me," he said. "We went very close last year in both the Cup and the league, we dipped out of the Cup earlier than we would have liked this year, and now we're in a great position to have a crack at a Super League title. I'll be doing everything I can to make sure I leave with a winner's ring.

"The Wigan players are a great bunch of blokes and I've really enjoyed my time over here. This season, in particular, has been really good. That made the decision even harder, but it's the right decision."

Riddell, famed for his goal-kicking salutes, is held in high regard in Australia and is hoping to secure a deal with an NRL club for 2011. But he added: "To be honest, I've not even gone down that road yet.

"I'm just focusing on doing a job this year. Hopefully something will come up, but we're definitely going back to Sydney to live, that's where my family is and it would have to fit in with that."

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