Wests Tigers 2005 Premiership Winner Pat Richards will return to club colours after being named as a confirmed starter for the club's 2020 Perth Nines squad.
With the full squad expected to be announced later this afternoon, Richards was today announced by Coach Michael Maguire at the club's 2020 Season Launch at Waterview as one of the players heading across to Perth.
"It's fantastic to have one of the greats of the club in Pat Richards coming back and playing," Maguire enthused.
"He’s back on board and he’ll have a run around. He’ll be able to show some of the young pups how to get out there and compete so I'm looking forward to the Nines.
"He was happy [when I told him]. I’ve had some great experiences with Pat overseas in my coaching time over the years.
"I remember telling the players that he was coming in to play and there was a massive cheer so it just goes to show what Pat Richards means to the organisation."
After debuting for the Parramatta Eels in 2000, Richards played 39 games for Wests Tigers between 2004-05 — including the 2005 Grand Final — before playing 244 games for the Wigan Warriors. He would return to Wests Tigers in 2014 where he went on to play a further 43 games for the club, before retiring with the Catalan Dragons in 2016 with 242 tries and 1,096 goals from his 384 career appearances.
The 37-year-old currently works with the Wests Tigers Foundation and on occasion with the club's football staff, and said he was looking forward to the opportunity.
"I'm very excited to put the jersey back on," Richards said.
"It all happened really quick I'm very excited to have the opportunity.
"I had to go through a process to get cleared by the NRL including a concussion, heart, fitness and medical tests but I ticked all the boxes and here we are.
"I'm very excited to be around the boys again. It's a great opportunity to put the jersey back on at a club I love and represent Wests Tigers."
Wests Tigers will confirm their full playing squad for the 2020 Perth Nines later this afternoon, with Moses Mbye set to formally captain the side.