Sale RU eye Pat

SALE RU officials have denied a report that Pat Richards could be set for a short-term stint in the Premiership – but admitted they would be interested in him later this year.

Trade paper League Weekly yesterday suggested Richards may join Sale to regain his fitness next month after six months out with an Achilles injury, before returning to the Warriors first-team fold.

Media manager Dave Swanton categorically denied the story – but he admitted the Man of Steel is on their radar for next season.

Richards, 28, is out-of-contract with Wigan at the end of this campaign.

The two parties have already had talks about extending his six-year spell with the club.

No deal has yet been reached and while interest in Richards from rugby union would hardly come as a surprise, Sale are the first club to go public with their ambitions to lure him to the rival code.

Swanton said: “He is on our radar.

“We are aware he’s very good under the high-ball, very good at kicking a ball and scoring tries, and we’re also aware he is out-of-contract at the end of the current Super League season.”

Last year Richards was linked with a move to American Football with his agent insisting the NFL were keen to recruit him as a specialist kicker.

The former Wests Tigers ace laughed off the suggestion at the time. Richards is focusing his energies on getting back onto the field.

He injured his Achilles in the 22-10 Grand Final triumph against St Helens last October and is edging closer to a return to the first-team frame.

Michael Maguire said he may be back within the next three or four weeks.