Happy Richie Myler signs a new two-year deal with Leeds Rhinos
“INVALUABLE ASSET” Richie Myler is staying at Leeds Rhinos after signing a new two-year contract, as prop Dom Crosby bows out.
Myler’s deal, keeping him at Leeds until the end of 2022, replaced his previous arrangement which was due to expire in November.
Crosby, though, has announced he will retire at the end of this season after two years on the injury list.
Myler was poised to join Toronto Wolfpack on a long-term contract beginning next year before financial problems caused them to withdraw from Betfred Super League.
The 30-year-old - who grabbed a hat-trick in Rhinos’ win over Salford Red Devils last Saturday, following two matches on the injury list - arrived at Leeds in 2018 from Catalans Dragons and was player of the year in his first season.
He has scored 26 tries, six goals and two drop goals in 66 appearances for Rhinos and director of rugby Kevin Sinfield enthused: “Richie has shown his desire this season to perform at his best for the team, regardless of what role he is asked to play and that makes him an invaluable asset to Richard Agar and the coaches.”
Myler said: “I’m glad my future has finally been sorted, I’m loving the role I’ve got at the moment and being a part of this team.
“I think we have such exciting prospects for this group, I love it here and I am over the moon to have my future sorted.”
Having spent three seasons at Leeds as first-choice half-back, he seemed to be on the way out when Rhinos signed Luke Gale 12 months ago, but Myler - who played for England in 2018 - impressed the coaching staff with his attitude during pre-season and in the early stages of the campaign, when he operated as back-up hooker.
He moved to full-back when Jack Walker was injured against Warrington in February and has turned in a series of outstanding performances, despite no previous experience in that position.
“Once I spoke to Richard Agar and Kevin Sinfield and talked about what my role within the team would be and what I can bring to the team, it was an easy decision for me,” Myler added.
“I’ve played half-back throughout my whole career; that’s all I’ve ever done and the only position I’ve ever known, but by the same token, I love also being in this team so there are different needs.
“The team needs and player needs are two different things and I’ve always been someone that has valued putting the team first.”
Of his positive response to losing the number seven jersey, Myler revealed: “At the start of the year I had a chat with Rich about what my role would be and what I can contribute to in the team and I feel I’m doing that every time I put a shirt on.
“Throughout my career, when I’m happy and enjoying it, I play my best rugby.
“Myself and Rich had a honest chat at the beginning of the year and I think that’s what was needed really.
“It could have gone one of two ways and we both said let’s make the best of what potentially could have been an awkward situation. We spoke about what the next couple of years is going to be, whether it is here or elsewhere for me and that has really given me an opportunity to make it really successful.”
A “delighted” Sinfield added: “Richie is one of the most experienced players in Super League, but still has some great years ahead of him. He will also play a key role with our younger players as one of our leaders and I am sure we will see the best of him in the next two years.”
Crosby will not play again, but has announced his official retirement from the end of this season.
The former Wigan Warriors forward joined Rhinos from Warrington Wolves in 2018 and made seven appearances that season, but has not played since due to ankle and knee injuries.
“After multiple surgeries and advice of surgeons and specialists, my last injury hasn’t healed well enough for me to continue playing,” he confirmed.
“I’ve given everything, emotionally, physically and mentally, to get back fit. A massive thanks to Leeds for sticking by me and supporting me through these tough times, I am truly grateful for how [they] treated myself and my family the last couple of years.”
Sinfield described Crosby’s announcement as “desperately sad news”. He said: “I know how much he wanted to get back on the field. Unfortunately, injuries are a cruel part of our game. Dom has always had our full support and he will remain a friend everyone here.”
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