Pat back in the old routine

Pat Richards
Pat Richards

PAT Richards is happy to be back in Wigan and preparing for another trophy-assault in 2012.

The winger is deep into training with his team-mates following a holiday Down Under with his family.

And he says Shaun Wane’s demands are just as high as when Michael Maguire was in charge for the previous two brutal pre-seasons.

He said: “It was nice to get home for a break but it’s good to be back into it.

“Nothing too much has changed so far. We all know what is expected here, it’s high-intensity every day and everyone is really ripping in. Waney has tweaked a few things but everyone is working just as hard. They’re long days but everyone’s enjoying it.

“The new boys have been pretty good. (Epalahame) Lauaki looks in pretty good nick and Gil Dudson came in the other day – they look like they’ll fit in pretty well.”

The new season is more than two months away but Richards is well aware that the action will soon creep up on them.

Wane is taking his senior squad to a week-long training camp in Florida on December 12 and then – after a Christmas break – will have four pre-season matches in January.

Wigan travel to Hull KR (15th), Salford (24th) and Leigh (27th), with only one home match squeezed into that schedule – a fixture against Huddersfield on January 19 in a game serving as captain Sean O’Loughlin’s testimonial.

Richards added: “Sean fully deserves his testimonial. He’s our leader and a world-class loose forward.”

Fellow new recruit Ben Flower will join the squad next Monday and Kiwi centre Anthony Gelling is expected to arrive this month. His capture has not been confirmed by the club but it’s understood a deal for the 21-year-old has been done.

SAM Tomkins finished fourth in the running for the Golden Boot award as the world’s best player.

He polled behind three Australians – winner Johnathan Thurston, Cameron Smith and Darren Lockyer. The England full-back was the only nominee not to make the World XIII side selected by Rugby League World magazine, having missed out to Billy Slater.