GIVEN Leeds Rhinos’ current malaise, they need all the help they can get so the sight of Richie Myler returning tonight is certainly a welcome one.
The former England scrum-half, quietly one of the best Super League signings in 2018 following his arrival from Catalans Dragons, has missed the last couple of games due to concussion issues.
He suffered two in less than a month but has now been given the all-clear for the trip to Wigan Warriors as Leeds bid to end their wretched recent run.
Depending on other results, the defending champions could fall into the bottom four if they suffer a club record seventh successive Super League defeat.
Despite missing narrow losses to St Helens and Catalans, Myler remains the best creator in the competition having enjoyed 22 try assists so far this term, more than the likes of even Ben Barba plus England duo George Williams and Stefan Ratchford.
Leeds will need him to quickly regain his rhythm and the 28-year-old said: “I’ve passed all the head assessments and I’m feeling good now.
“You have to go through all the protocols and they decided I needed a two-week stand-down.
“I’d had two (head injuries) in three weeks. If you have two in 12 months you have to see a specialist, but I’m all good now.
“I hate missing games at the best of times and obviously we are going through a tough period at the minute with injuries and things so it’ll be great to get back.”
For all Wigan are in second spot, they are out of sorts, too, having lost 19-18 at Castleford on Friday and winning just once in their last five outings.
Myler admitted: “They are a bit hit and miss like us at the minute, lacking a bit of form, but they have some players back from international duty and every time Leeds and Wigan play each other it’s going to be a big game. There wasn’t much in it when we played them (at Headingley) and we’re looking forward to it.
“We’ve got a few bodies back this week, which will be good and hopefully we’ll have a good crack.”
Remarkably, Rhinos have lost four games by a drop goal this year, including the reverse fixture against Wigan in April, and fell by just three points against Catalans last week.
However, for all that suggests they are competitive, they urgently require results.
“It shows how close we are at times, but obviously we are still getting beaten,” conceded Myler.
“We can turn that around. We aren’t too far off, but we are running out of games.
“Nobody wants to be in the Middle Eights, but we’re not focusing on that. We’re just focusing on Wigan. We’ll stick together, keep working hard and hopefully it’ll turn around for us.”
Ahead of the Test series against New Zealand, England face France at Leigh Sports Village on Wednesday October 17.