The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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The Wigan Club has announced that their Head Coach, Stuart Raper, indicated that he would be returning home to Australia at the end of this Super League season.
Wigan Chairman, Maurice Lindsay said, "Stuart came to see me and explained that it might be the right time to return home particularly for his family and he had to make a long term decision for the sake of them and himself. He will be hard to replace as I have never met a harder working Coach in my life and he has been very good to work with. He certainly goes with my best wishes and he will be an asset to his next club which I am sure will be a top Australian club".
Stuart Raper said, "It was a difficult decision in many ways as I have had a great time at Wigan and I have had a very good relationship with Maurice Lindsay who has supported me through thick and thin. I have to consider my family, however, and my wife and I have agreed that our childrens' senior education will be in Australia. I will leave behind a lot of good friends in Wigan and Castleford and we will have fond memories of our stay in this country".
Raper continued, "I will not be leaving until the end of the season and my ambition is to get Wigan to another Super League Final at Old Trafford and wipe out the painful memory of the last time we were there".
Maurice Lindsay concluded, "Whilst Stuart has been here we have reached a Super League Grand Final in his first year, won a Challenge Cup Final in his second year and reached the Semi Final of the Challenge Cup in his third season which has not yet finished. That's a pretty good record and we thank him for all his hard work".