Leeds Rhinos: Richie Myler hails Luke Gale’s arrival as ‘massive boost’

Richie Myler.Richie Myler.
Richie Myler.
FORMER MAN of Steel Luke Gale’s arrival at Leeds Rhinos has been welcomed as a “massive boost” – by the player who will be competing with him for a place in the team next year.

Richie Myler has been Rhinos’ number seven since joining them two years ago.

The former Widnes, Salford, Warrington and Catalans pivot was player of the year in his first campaign with Leeds and missed only three games during 2019.

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He has a year remaining on his contract, but doubts were raised about his future at Rhinos when the club paid Castleford Tigers a transfer fee to sign Gale on a three-year deal at the start of last month.

Luke Gale with Leeds Rhinos head coach Richard Agar.Luke Gale with Leeds Rhinos head coach Richard Agar.
Luke Gale with Leeds Rhinos head coach Richard Agar. | JPI Media Ltd Resell

Robert Lui, who joined Rhinos from Salford in May and youngster Callum McLelland are also in the half-back mix, but Myler – an England Test player 12 months ago – insists Gale’s arrival has given the side a lift and more competition can only be good for individuals and the squad as a whole.

“It is what it is,” Myler – who was back at Rhinos’ Kirkstall training base on the first day of pre-season – said of the addition of another player in his position.

“Obviously bringing Rob in at the back end of last year was a boost for the team and bringing Galey in has been another massive boost.

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“It is competition for places and we are all looking forward to a successful season.”

Luke Gale.Luke Gale.
Luke Gale. | © SWpix.com (t/a Photography Hub Ltd)

At a press conference to announce Gale’s signing, coach Richard Agar said it was “probably down to Richie a little bit” whether Myler would remain at Leeds.

But asked if he is prepared to fight for his place, the player insisted: “100 per cent”.

He said: “That is what I have always done, every time I have put a Leeds shirt on I have always given 110 per cent.

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“It is just one of those things, that’s sport – I have been around long enough to know that.

Leeds Rhinos' Robert Lui.Leeds Rhinos' Robert Lui.
Leeds Rhinos' Robert Lui. | JPIMedia

“I have just got to keep working hard and fight for a spot.”

Myler, 29, believes he, Gale, Lui and McLelland can bring the best out of each other.

“Ultimately there’s 25 in the squad, plus young blokes, that make a team,” he said.

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“It’s not just the individuals who get into the 17, there’s a a fair bit more to it than that.

“I am big enough and old enough to know that [you have to] keep your head down and keep working hard.

“Competition for places is good for the team and ultimately we all want the same goal - if Leeds win we are all happy, so that’s all that matters.”

Pre-season training began three weeks ago and, despite less than idea weather, Myler reckons Rhinos have hit the ground running.

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“It’s cold, but we’re fortunate to have the 4g pitch so we’ve been able to train,” he said.

“It is a blessing to have that and it has been good. We’ve been doing a lot of work on core skills, stripped it right back.

“We are still waiting for a few players to come back in, but the boys have been working on a lot of catching and basic fundamentals.”

Myler admitted that was an area Rhinos fell down in last year.

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“We’ve highlighted a few areas we need to work on,” he added. “Everyone seems to be grasping on to it, so it has been good so far.

“There’s a fair few of us training now and some of the young boys have really ripped in and we are really pushing each other.”

Everyone involved with Rhinos is desperate to avoid a third successive relegation battle, but Myler stressed: “We weren’t great at most parts of last year, but when we turned the corner we put some really good performances together.

“We can’t ask for anything else, we get all the resources we need and we just need to put it right on the field now. With more stability in the club and people knowing their roles and a few new faces, it has been an enjoyable start to pre-season.”