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Injury forces Pat Richards into early retirement

Press AssociationPress Association 18/08/2016

Pat Richards waves to Wests Tigers fans after leaving the club last season to return to English Super League. © Mark Kolbe/Getty Images Pat Richards waves to Wests Tigers fans after leaving the club last season to return to English Super League. After 16 seasons in top-grade rugby league, NRL premiership winner Pat Richards has played his last match.

The 34-year-old Catalans Dragons winger announced last month he would retire at the end of the year but has been forced to hang up the boots prematurely after suffering a season-ending knee injury.

Richards, who has scored more than 3000 points in the NRL and Super League, returned to the northern hemisphere at the start of the season to take up a two-year contract with the Dragons.

He started his career with Parramatta in 2000 before shifting to the Wests Tigers in 2004, where he won the 2005 NRL premiership, scoring a memorable try off a Benji Marshall flick pass.

From 2006-13, Richards also lifted two Super League titles and two Challenge Cups in a glittering career with Wigan.

He was named Super League's Man of Steel in 2010.

Richards came back to the Tigers and played in their 2014 and 2015 campaigns.

The prolific goalkicker last month signalled his intentions to return to Australia to take up a junior development role at the end of the season at Wests Tigers.

Richards also represented Ireland in the 2008 and 2013 World Cups, courtesy of his Dublin-born father.

He made 21 appearances for the French club, who are in fifth position on the ladder.

He is the latest Catalans played to be ruled out for the season after scans on ex-Cronulla playmaker Todd Carney's knee revealed ligament damage.

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