Sam Tomkins: Matt Bowen a 'great replacement', says Pat Richards
New signing Matt Bowen will be a "great replacement" for outgoing full-back Sam Tomkins at Wigan, says Pat Richards.
Tomkins, 24, will leave at the end of the season, with New Zealand Warriors paying a world-record fee to sign the England international.
Bowen, 31, has agreed a one-year deal with Wigan after ending his 11-year association with North Queensland.
"He'll add a lot to the Super League competition, not just Wigan," winger Richards told BBC Radio Manchester.
"Positionally, I think he's one of the best in the world. He's great on his feet and he's got a great pass on him. He'll be a great replacement for Sam.
"He's a real quality player and I'm sure it won't take long for him to fit into the Wigan structure. The coaching staff will utilise his strengths and he'll certainly be a great signing."
Bowen, capped once by Australia in 2004, has the option of extending his stay at the DW Stadium by a further year.
Twice the NRL's leading try scorer in 2005 and 2007, Bowen crossed 130 times in 270 games for North Queensland and was given a fantastic reception at the conclusion of his final home game for the Cowboys.
Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan said Bowen's arrival was a "marquee signing" for the Challenge Cup winners.
Tomkins' departure was confirmed after months of speculation regarding his future in Super League.
Wayne Scurrah, chief executive of New Zealand Warriors, said Monday's announcement ended a four-month pursuit for his signature, with the NRL club even flying Tomkins' mother to Auckland to help seal the deal.
The perfect farewell?
Pat Richards will make his final home appearance for Wigan against Leeds on Friday, with a place in October's Grand Final awaiting the winners.
The 31-year-old winger has scored 168 tries in 222 games for the Warriors to date and, after winning the Challenge Cup in August, Richards will be hoping to complete a league-and-cup double in his final year in England.
"We brought his mum over and gave her a great time," said Scurrah.
"Sam had been here as a youngster with the Great Britain youth team so he knew a little bit, but not much about the Auckland area.
"Sam will love it. There's a great affinity to English people with Kiwis, there's a huge UK population over here and he'll have no trouble settling in."
Tomkins is due to make his final home appearance for Wigan in their play-off semi-final against Leeds on Friday, as is Richards, who will rejoin his former club Wests Tigers in 2014.
And after winning the Challenge Cup on two occasions (2011 and 2013), as well as a Grand Final (2010) with the Warriors, the 31-year-old hopes to end his eight-year stay with more silverware.
"What stand out the most are the friendships I've made at the club and winning trophies," added Richards, who was voted Man of Steel in 2010.
"I've been lucky enough to do that and I've got another opportunity, if we get through this week, to have another shot at a Grand Final."