Catalans Dragons winger Pat Richards will retire at the end of the season.
The former Man of Steel, who has scored more than 3000 points over 16 seasons in the NRL and Super League, was under contract until the end of the 2017 but will hang up his boots at the age of 34.
Richards started his career at Parramatta in 2000 before moving to the Wests Tigers in 2004, where he won the 2005 Premiership title. After 76 NRL appearances and 40 tries, he decided to join Wigan in 2006. His eight-year stint with the Warriors was a resounding success, winning two Super League titles and two Challenge Cup winners medals. He was awarded Man of Steel Award in 2010, when he finished as the season’s top point scorer with 434 points. Richards came back to Australia in 2014, returning to the Wests Tigers where he made 43 NRL appearances, scoring 26 tries and 342 points. He scored 9 tries and 174 points this season in 19 appearances under the Catalans jersey.
He has also represented Ireland on 7 occasions, including at the World Cup, scoring 3 tries and scoring 34 points.
Catalans Dragons headcoach Laurent Frayssinous said: “I’m disappointed to see a so great player, with so much class on and off the field, hanging up his boots. He is and has always been respected by his team-mates and opponents. Our sport is losing a great player and we would like to wish him, his wife Kim and Kids Aidan and Brianna all the best for this new chapter in their life. As a team, it’s an extra motivation to finish the season as high as possible to offer him the end he deserves.”
Club CEO Christophe Jouffret added: “We would like to emphasise the honesty of this great player who has decided to refuse the last season on his contract. Pat has been an amazing player in the two best rugby league competitions and he is among the greatest players to have worn the Catalans jersey. We wish him all the best.”