Dragons fans and Eels fans will know the action well. It’s been described as a balancing act as Riddell lifts one arm up above his head before he goes to kick the ball. For fans who loved the move? You’ll get to see it again.
Yep, that’s right! Mark Riddell is set to make a return to the NRL with the Wests Tigers, in what is sure to see a return of the infamous goal-kicking stance.
The deal is expected to only be for a year, as the Tigers are after some experienced cover for incumbent hooker Robbie Farah in case of injury, suspension, or Origin.
Whilst he initially signed a 3 year deal with ESL club, the Wigan Warriors, Riddell has had to cut his stay in England short, as he returns home to be by his mother’s side, who is battling cancer.
The deal is expected to be made official tomorrow, in what will be Riddell’s 29th birthday. A rather fitting way to announce a return to the NRL.
“It’s likely to happen. We are maybe a day or two away from finalising it,” Wests Tigers chief executive Stephen Humphreys said yesterday.
“We have had discussions with Mark and they went very well. It is certainly something we are thinking about.
“We’re considering him a back-up to Robbie Farah”.
Given the Tigers at this stage, don’t have a lot of cap-space to work with, Humphreys was asked just how Riddell will fit into the Tigers cap. He replied:
“If he were to come here, it would be on a second-tier contract. He wouldn’t be in our top 25. That is the context with which we are considering him.”
Riddell’s career in the ESL finished on a high-note with his Wigan team getting the victory over a St Helens side in the Super League grand final.
“This is No. 1 for me. I have been chasing one of these titles for 11 or 12 years in professional rugby league.
“To finally get one at the end is something special.”
Michael Maguire, who some of you may recognise as a former Storm staffer, now current Wigan coach has expressed his disappointment in Riddell’s departure.
“We knew about Mark’s situation in June and we will be sad to lose him but fully understand the reasons behind his decision,” Maguire said.