The Tigers were willing to offer Riddell a 1-year-deal as a back-up to incumbent hooker Robbie Farah, but the Roosters were quick to begin talks with Riddell, and given the prior relationship between Riddell and Roosters coach Brian Smith, a deal seemed imminent.
Riddell, 29, has signed a 1 year deal with the Roosters as they seek to cover the loss of new recruit Anthony Watts who is expected to miss most of the 2011 season with a severe leg injury.
The deal is somewhat of a homecoming for Piggy, given that he played in the lower grades for the Roosters in 1999-2000, before moves to the Dragons and Eels made him the household name that he is.
Despite the Tigers keen to sign Riddell, it was ultimately the chance to play first-grade, possibly off the bench that coaxed Riddell into signing with the Bondi outfit.
We had held talks with Mark and we had made an offer,” said Wests Tigers chief executive Stephen Humphreys. “But we knew there was interest in Mark from other clubs.
“We aren’t [cranky]. If he has decided to go that way [to the Roosters] then good luck to him.”