Richie Myler is pleased to be Mr Versatile for Leeds Rhinos

THE image of Leeds Rhinos’ elated Luke Gale gleefully running in to celebrate with try-scorer Richie Myler on Friday night was particularly telling.

Myler had just touched down the club’s ninth try to round off an impressive 52-10 destruction of their Super League rivals.

Yet a few months ago there must have been concerns about whether he would even get a game following the major signing of Gale, the England scrum-half recruited to finally take control of this Rhinos side.

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Myler – their No 7 for the previous two campaigns – looked like being the odd man out but coach Richard Agar quickly noted how the 29-year-old knuckled down and accepted the challenge.

Luke Gale and Richie Myler celebrate scoring. Picture Bruce Rollinson

The coach also revealed Myler – who had played for England himself as recently as 2018 – was ready to battle for a place on the bench if needed and show his versatility.

That has certainly proven the case as, with Kruise Leeming injured in pre-season, he came on at hooker in the opening day 30-4 loss against Hull FC.

Versus Rovers, Myler came on at stand-off for Robert Lui who had been struggling with flu.

In both instances, he played his part and clearly he and Gale are getting on well, too.

Myler told The Yorkshire Post: “I will just play wherever. It’s one of those things.

“I was meant to go on at nine at some point against KR but the beauty of that role is I can go on wherever if I’m needed in another position.

“I think Brad (Dwyer) did 75 minutes at hooker. He did a great job.

“I just want to be out there and playing; I want to contribute and not be a spare part.

“I thought I did come on and contribute so I am happy with that.”

It will be interesting to see what happens when Leeming, the England Knights hooker signed from Huddersfield Giants in the off-season, does return to fitness and how many of his pivot players Agar will be able to accommodate.

For now, though, Myler is proving his worth and it should be no surprise; do not forget he was Leeds’s player of the year in 2018 after joining from Catalans Dragons and faced the Kiwis that autumn.

Admittedly, Rhinos do look a more rounded team with Gale in the No 7 role and they will look to build on that emphatic Rovers win when they visit Salford Red Devils on Saturday.

Former Warrington Wolves star Myler said: “What we did against KR was much more like us; how we’ve trained all season and how we’ve prepared.

“We just didn’t turn up against Hull and were off the mark.

“We got a kick in the backside but I thought we delivered our gameplan really well on Friday and played well.

“We were on the front foot for an awful lot of the game and were clinical; we overplayed a little bit at certain times and it’s just having the discipline to rein it in a little bit.

“But we had some big performances and it was a great result.

“We’re under no illusions it will be a tough game over at Salford; it’s hard to go to the AJ Bell especially if it’s blowing a gale.

“But, without being too pedantic, we want to focus on our performance and getting that right, respecting the opposition to get the result.”

Last season’s surprise Grand Finalists Salford lost to champions St Helens, defeated Toronto Wolfpack but then fell 12-10 at home to Huddersfield in controversial fashion on Friday.

Their former England stand-off Kevin Brown was sin-binned for head butting Jordan Turner in the closing stages, Giants kicking the winning penalty soon after.

Brown was yesterday handed a two-game ban so misses the Leeds match and the trip to Wakefield Trinity.

Myler, of course, made his name at Salford whom he joined as a prodigiously-talented 17-year-old in 2008 having made a couple of appearances with Widnes.

He helped them earn promotion, scoring 25 tries in 32 games to earn National League One Player of the Year, and went onto debut in Super League the following season.

Myler was still a teenager when he joined Warrington in a £200,00 deal at the end of 2009 and there he established himself as one of the competition’s best halves, beating Leeds in the 2012 Challenge Cup final but losing a Grand Final to them a few weeks later and also to Wigan the following season. A move to France saw him hone his game further although he has rarely played hooker before.

Myler said: “I’ve done it now and again in my career.

“I’ve never actually been a hooker; I’ve gone into that role when someone’s gone off or something’s happened.

“I’ve never been sat on the bench waiting to go on at nine like I am now.

“It is a little bit different as you don’t really know when you are going on, to a certain extent.

“It’s almost reactional to how the situation unfolds. But I’m just happy to be playing.”

That happiness was plain to see as he ecstatically joined in celebrations with Gale and his team-mates following that late try against Rovers, a score that sealed a ruthless performance from Leeds who had started to play the sort of football people have grown to expect of them in the summer era.

Myler joked: “I got off the nudey run which is a good one.

“Although we’re not allowed to do them anymore – they’re only in-house nudey runs – so that’s one off the bat.

“As I say, I just want to contribute and if I’m doing that I’m happy. We’re looking forward to Salford now and going over there and putting in another performance.”

Meanwhile, Huddersfield full-back Darnell McIntosh was charged with a Grade A dangerous contact against Salford but was handed a zero match penalty so is free to play in their game at Hull KR on Friday.