HIGH-PROFILE RECRUIT Richie Myler has described signing for Leeds Rhinos as “the perfect move”.
The 27-year-old Catalans Dragons half-back will join Rhinos at the end of the current campaign on a three-year contract.
He is the first experienced scrum-half to sign for Rhinos since Ryan Sheridan 20 years ago and his arrival will mark another step in the transition from the golden generation which won every available honour from 2004-2015.
Myler began his career at hometown club Widnes Vikings and played for Salford and Warrington Wolves before moving to France ahead of the 2016 season. He has six England caps – the last of which came in 2012 – and was a Challenge Cup final winner for Warrington against Leeds five years ago.
He also scored the opening try when Rhinos gained revenge in that season’s Super League Grand Final.
Myler, who is married to television presenter Helen Skelton, said: “I am delighted to have signed for the Rhinos and can’t wait to get started when I join up with the boys at the end of the season.
“It is the perfect move for me and my family and we are all very much looking forward to it.
“I had a number of chats with [Rhinos coach] Brian McDermott about the direction the club is going in and his thought process about what I could offer to the Rhinos.
“It was important to know the way the team is going and that Brian wanted me as part of that. It was really appealing to me and the best fit for me as a player.”
Myler – a two-try scorer for Catalans in their defeat at Warrington last Saturday – added: “Leeds is a big club and a club that is always fighting for silverware and at the top of the league.
“I have loved my time in the south of France. It is a beautiful part of the world and Catalans Dragons have been amazing with me and my family.
“We have made friends for life and I have enjoyed my time in Perpignan, but it is now the right time for us to move home to England and this was the best opportunity for me.
“This was the one that I was really excited about and when the chance came to join the Rhinos it was too good an opportunity to turn down.”
McDermott said: “We are pleased to have secured a player of Richie’s quality and experience to the club. Having spoken to him over the past few weeks, I have been impressed by his determination to succeed.
“Given the nature of the sport now in the salary cap era, when a player like Richie becomes available there is going to be a lot of interest in him.
“I am sure he received many very good offers, however it was telling for me that he committed to the Rhinos because he believes in what we are trying to achieve here.”
The signing will increase speculation over the future of Rhinos’ veteran captain Danny McGuire who, along with long-serving no7 Rob Burrow, is out of contract at the end of this season.