Wigan Warriors today confirm the signing of Parramatta Eels hooker, Mark Riddell, on a three year deal. The 27 year old has agreed terms for 2009, 2010 and 2011 and will arrive in Wigan in December 2008. Riddell has been with the Eels since 2005 playing 77 games after playing first grade with St George Illawarra for four years. Mark has played 169 games in the NRL competition in total with an impressive 621 points including 42 tries and 226 goals. He represented the City Origin team in 2004 and 2005. Wigan Chairman, Ian Lenagan, concluded the deal in Sydney yesterday evening and said: "We are delighted to have signed Mark on a three-year deal. He is exactly the type of Hooker Wigan needs to lead our forwards and to further develop young Michael McIlorum. He adds strength and size, brings spark to our attack and is a hard working defender who plays considerable game time. His kicking from hand and goal kicking skills are an additional benefit. â€œMark is a great character on the field who will go down very well with the Wigan fans and is looking forward to testing himself in the English Super League." â€œWe are extremely grateful to the Parramatta Club who have agreed to release Mark one year early from his contract to take up this opportunity with Wiganâ€ Mark Riddell added, "I am pleased to have agreed terms with the Wigan Club and really excited about the next three years. Wigan is the biggest name in world rugby and it is a wonderful opportunity for me. â€œHowever, I am sad to be leaving the Eels after three massively enjoyable years and am grateful to the Club for allowing me to go. I look forward to finishing my time with Parramatta for the rest of this Season on a high." Eels CEO Denis Fitzgerald said he was not going to deny Riddell to join one of the giants of the English Super League. "Mark has been a great character on and off the field since joining the Parramatta Eels in 2005 and he will be a tremendous asset for Wigan, both in terms of playing strength and in his ability to promote the club and the English game" Fitzgerald said. "While weâ€™re sorry to see him go, we acknowledge opportunities such as the one presented by Wigan donâ€™t come along every day and, as such, we have agreed to a release from the 2009 portion of his contract. "We wish Mark all the best and we can assure Wigan Warriors fans that they are getting a player who will give his all, every game.â€ Thank f*** for that! A decent hooker. It'll make a nice change from the headless chickens we've had at hooker since Newton left. Hopefully McIlorum will benefit from Riddell joining as well.