ONE of Warrington Wolves' 2009 Challenge Cup heroes has signed for London Broncos.
The relegated Broncos are briinging in Richard Mathers from Wakefield Trinity Wildcats on a two year deal from the 2015 season.
Mathers, aged 30, who was Wolves' full back at Wembley in 2009 when Huddersfield Giants were defeated in the Challenge Cup Final and again against his hometown club Leeds in 2010, will join the Broncos for pre-season training in November ahead of the 2015 season in the Kingstone Press Championship.
As Tony Smith's first signing for Wolves he had two seasons with the club but has a wealth of experience at the top level, having also played for Leeds Rhinos, Gold Coast Titans, Wigan Warriors, Castleford Tigers and Wakefield.
"He will be one of the highest profile players in the Championship next season.” said Broncos head coach Joey Grima.
"His experience will be great for the Broncos as Richie is close to playing 300 games in the Super League and has experience of the NRL.”
"This signing is an indication of how serious we are about where we want to be in 2015 and beyond and we look forward to welcoming Richie, Sasha and family to our club."
Mathers says the move to London is one that excites him and he's relishing the challenge.
"It's a massive move for myself and my family,” he said.
"It's an exciting one and we're just at the planning stage of moving and bringing the family down and starting a new adventure.
"I've always enjoyed the trips down when I've played at The Stoop and different places and I've always enjoyed being down in London. I never really thought I'd get the opportunity to play down there and it's one that presented itself quite quickly.
"I met with Joey up in Leeds last week and I've spoken to him numerous times on the phone and really liked the ideas. He sold the place, not just on the club and the footy, but as a place to live and the whole package.
"I've been down to have a look around with my wife and it's been an eye opener and an experience we're looking forward to. Having seen the set-up at Underhill for training it's a great facility, it's all on one site and I'm really looking forward to starting pre-season training.
"I guess it was daunting at first, the relocation part of it, but having spoken to Joey about the rugby side of it, that's what I'm going there to do.
"The challenge is one I'm looking forward to. It's a different sort of challenge to what I've been used to but Joey's enthusiasm and the plans he has in place for the club not just next year but for the future, he really sold it to me. I didn't realise how passionate he was about it."
Mathers believes that the Broncos relegation to the Kingstone Press Championship will ultimately be better for the club in the long run.
"Everyone sees the struggles the Broncos have had this season and it's not nice," he said.
"I think it's a blessing in disguise dropping down to the Championship, they'll have a chance to regroup and get some players together and mount a really serious challenge.
"I do believe that a winning London side will attract the fans and I've grown up playing against some great London sides.
"That's what my challenge is, and that's what excited me about the challenge, being part of the opportunity to get the Broncos back in Super League.”
Mathers played 89 games for Leeds during the 2002-2006 seasons and also played twice for England in 2005. He starred for Leeds at full-back in their 2004 Super League Grand Final win over Bradford Bulls and in 2005 he appeared in the World Club Challenge scoring a try against Canterbury Bulldogs.
Mathers also played for Leeds in their loss to Hull FC in the 2005 Challenge Cup final and the 2005 Super League Grand Final defeat by Bradford Bulls. He spent a season in the NRL with the Gold Coast Titans but was limited to six first grade games.
Mathers moved back to the UK and signed for Wigan the following season playing 24 games.
He joined Warrington part way through his second season at the Warriors and went on to play 47 games for the Wolves, winning the Challenge Cup with them in 2009 and 2010.
Mathers then joined Castleford in 2011 where he played 23 games and was loaned out to Wakefield in the same season. He joined Wakefield in 2012 and has played over 70 games over the past three seasons and has been a consistent performer for the Wildcats.