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London Broncos v Wigan preview.

26th of July 2013
London Broncos v Wigan preview.

Match Preview and Squad announcement


Richards eyes Wembley appearance

Wigan's former Man of Steel Pat Richards is determined to return to Australia with a second Wembley winners' medal.

The Sydney-born Ireland international, who was in the Warriors side that beat Leeds in the 2011 Challenge Cup final, is going back to Wests Tigers at the end of the year and that adds extra significance for him in Saturday's semi-final against London Broncos at Leigh.

"It was really special two years ago to get an opportunity to go to Wembley," Richards said.

"I've been at Wigan eight years and I've only been to Wembley once, so they don't come around too often.

"It's obviously my last chance and I'll be going out there and trying the best I can as always."

Wigan are the odds-on favourites to secure what would be a record-extending 19th cup triumph next month while the Broncos, three points adrift at the foot of Super League, are the 50-1 rank outsiders to lift the trophy for the first time.

However, Richards, who was in the Wigan side that lost 37-24 to Catalan Dragons in the last big semi-final upset in 2007, insists his side will not be underestimating their struggling opponents.

"Obviously we've got to go out there and do a job because in 80 minutes anything can happen," he said.

"The score is nil-all when we kick off, it doesn't matter who's the underdogs or the favourites.

"It's about starting the game well and getting into the structures that have put us in good positions this year.

"We know what they're capable of on their day. They've got some really good players and we know they're going to bring their best game against us.

"We're going to bring our best game as well so it's all the ingredients of a good game."

The bookmakers are not expecting a close game but Richards says he will be ready to put over another monster drop goal if necessary, just as he did in Monday's derby at St Helens.

"I didn't expect to kick it myself," he said. "It was just one of those things that happens. It was just a freakish sort of play."

Wigan are bolstered by the return of Sam Tomkins, Sean O'Loughlin and Harrison Hansen while Iain Thornley or Jack Hughes will take the place of centre Anthony Gelling, who has failed to recover from a foot injury sustained at St Helens.

Major signing Jamie Soward is back for London after sitting out last week's league defeat at Widnes, but he will be without his half-back partner Michael Witt and captain Tony Clubb because of injury despite spending much of the week in a hyperbaric chamber.

"They've done everything scientifically and we've thrown the kitchen sink at trying to get them ready but it hasn't happened," said coach Tony Rea.

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