PLAYER OF the year Richie Myler is “excited” about what 2019 could bring for Leeds Rhinos.
The half-back, signed from Catalans Dragons, was one of the few success stories from Leeds’ dismal campaign this year, earning a recall to the England squad for the first time since 2012.
Rhinos began pre-season training last week, the day after Myler’s season ended with England’s third Test defeat by New Zealand.
Myler is due back in at Leeds before the end of this month and insisted he is “really excited about the opportunities we’ve got now” under boss Dave Furner and with a new-look squad.
He said: “We’ve got some new players coming in and new systems and we’ll be aiming to put a lot of stuff we did wrong last season right, as well as building on the stuff we did well.
“I am looking forward to it.”
Myler was in on the first day of pre-season training last year, just two days short of a year before the third Test.
He played 31 games for Rhinos – scoring 11 tries, six goals and a drop goal – and featured in two of England’s five matches during 2018.
“It has been a very long season,” Myler admitted.
“A couple of weeks and I am back in so I am going to have a rest, go on holiday, switch off for a couple of weeks and then start back in the fun again.
“It is a short turnaround, but we’ve got a new coach, new objectives and new things to work on so I am ready to get back in.”
With Rhinos having made major changes on and off the field, Myler admitted every minute of pre-season has to count.
The season starts early next year and he stressed: “We’ve got new systems and we’ve got to get everyone on board and singing off the same hymn sheet.
“The first Super League game is January 31, which is ridiculous, but it starts pretty quick again and we don’t have long to work on it.
“We’ll have to get to it quick.”
Nobody associated with Rhinos will be sorry to see the end of 2018 after one of the worst seasons in the club’s history.
The reigning champions plunged down the table to finish ninth and were second in the Qualifiers, ending their campaign with an embarrassing home loss to Betfred Championship side Toronto Wolfpack.
After a solid start they won only four of their final 16 meetings with top-flight opposition in all competitions, three of those being against relegated Widnes Vikings. However, Myler reckons Rhinos will be better for the experience.
He said: “I’ve said before, we weren’t too far off last season at certain times.
“We lost five games by one point, but there was a lot of fundamental stuff we needed to get better at.
“I think that’s going to be the big picture stuff and the recruits coming in will give us some fresh blood.
“I think the guys who are still here from last season will have learned a lot of lessons from what went wrong and we need to put it right this time.”