Richie Myler backed to keep Leeds Rhinos at the top

LEEDS RHINOS head coach Brian McDermott believes new signing Richie Myler has all the assets required to at last reclaim the England scrum-half role and end a six-year spell in the international wilderness.

Where's my seat? Coach Brian McDermott at Leeds Rhinos' photoshoot.

 Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Where's my seat? Coach Brian McDermott at Leeds Rhinos' photoshoot. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Myler, 27, was the Super League champions’ main capture for the new season which starts in less than three weeks’ time at one of his former clubs, Warrington Wolves.

He arrived after a difficult campaign with Catalans Dragons who only avoided relegation after success in the Million Pound Game at Leigh Centurions.

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Nonetheless, Myler’s form remained sharp and McDermott feels he can flourish further with the West Yorkshire club to represent his country again for the first time since 2012.

Interestingly, he will face current England No7 and reigning Man of Steel Luke Gale when Leeds head to Castleford Tigers for a Grand Final rematch in Sunday’s friendly.

An archetypal scrum-half, the diminutive Myler has plenty of pace and elusive quality among his skill-set.

“He has the ability to get back in the England squad, of course he has,” said McDermott, speaking at Rhinos’ 2018 season media launch.

“As a half, there’s got to be a really good reason why you’re in the team internationally if you’re not really a threat with the ball.

“You have to have an extremely good kicking game and be able to marshall the other 12 blokes and they have to do exactly what you say, when you say it.

“There are some examples and some great half-backs throughout the years who have been a bit one-paced and don’t have that zip about them yet have other qualities.

“But I think Richie would have gone really well in this recent World Cup with his abilities to either support someone and get on the back of that to finish it off, or to create something himself.

“He is always a threat with the ball but the reality is you don’t get picked when your team’s swilling around the bottom of the league and that’s what he was doing last year with Catalans. He probably got overlooked for the wrong reasons but you don’t blame the selectors for not looking at him.”

Myler, of course, has big boots to fill given he replaces Danny McGuire, the legendary Leeds captain who moved to Hull KR after lifting an eighth league title with his hometown club.

But McDermott is confident the player will handle that pressure.

He said: “Richie’s a really keen fella and from the first conversation we had with him I thought he was impressive with what his ideas were and some of his plans with us.

“He’s had a very good pre-season with us and has fitted in well with everybody.

“While he is noted for his great support he has always been someone who has marshalled the troops around the field and got people around the park.

“That’s one of the things we were keen on buying. And he’ll get better still, too; when he gets to 28, 29 or 30, the penny will drop for him in a few areas of the game and life in general.”

Meanwhile, Rhinos’ World Club Challenge tie at Melbourne Storm next month will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Main Event – as will Hull FC’s tour of New South Wales including fixtures with Super League rivals Wigan and NRL club St George-Illawarra.