Piggy in the middle

Happy as a pig in mud: Mark Riddell celebrating a win during his days as a Parramatta Eel. Picture: Dallas Kilponen
Happy as a pig in mud: Mark Riddell celebrating a win during his days as a Parramatta Eel. Picture: Dallas Kilponen

MARK "Piggy" Riddell will be putting on a Tigers jersey this year after The Oaks signed the former NRL star for this Group 6 season.

In his 189 first-grade games with St George Illawarra, Parramatta and the Roosters, Riddell was as known for his one arm salute before kicking for goal and his post try celebrations as he was for his crafty dummy half play.

But he doesn't miss the scrutiny of playing on the big stage of the NRL or the English competition.

"It's going to be good to play without the ridiculous pressure of the NRL and be able to have a beer after the game," he told the Advertiser.

"I just want to have fun and play well for The Oaks.

"I'm not missing NRL footy at all. I really enjoy watching the game now, whereas when I was playing I didn't really.

"I don't miss being out there."

Tigers first grade coach Mark Lowe said Riddell's signature is a coup for The Oaks and for Group 6 in general.

"He'll bring plenty of experience for us, and someone the boys can look up to," he said.

"He'll also be great for Group 6.

"People will take notice when they see his name on the list."

Riddell is the Sydney Roosters S.G. Ball coach and will play whenever the two competitions don't overlap.

"The comp finishes in April or May, so I'll be getting to a lot more games after that," he said.

"I'll be playing round one for sure."

Riddell said he knows "a fair bit" about Group 6, as his brother played for Camden.

"I'm not too sure about the standard this year," he said.

"But there are a few other NRL boys who have signed up — like Stuart Flanagan.

"That will make the standard even stronger."

He admitted he supports the Roosters in the NRL, the club where he still coaches, but isn't as passionate when they come up against the Dragons or Eels.

"All three clubs played a huge role in my career," he said.

"So I definitely have mixed feelings when they play each other."