NEW LEEDS Rhinos recruit Richard Myler has big boots to fill, but insists he is excited by the challenge.
Myler trained with the Betfred Super League champions for the first time when pre-season began yesterday.
He has inherited Rob Burrow’s No7 jersey and will take over from another Rhinos legend, Danny McGuire, as one of the first-choice half-backs next year.
The 27-year-old, who has joined Leeds from Catalans Dragons on a three-year contract, admitted: “Obviously with Rob and Danny retiring or moving on it was always going to be a big thing, but whenever you come to a big club you have to play well and I’m pretty clear with what my role is at this side.” The former England man added: “You only have to look at the infrastructure and the youngsters here – you can see the talent pool they have to select from is outstanding.
“That’s what excited me the most, to come to a team like Leeds where you know kids will always be coming through and playing with great players always brings your game on.”
Myler, who is known for his pace and support play, reckons Leeds is the ideal move for him at this stage of his career.
“It’s the kind of rugby which fits my game,” he said.
“The way I like to play and things that suit my game, this was the perfect fit for me.
“I had very lengthy conversations with Brian [McDermott, Rhinos’ coach] about what my role would be and what team would need from me and I was excited and chomping at the bit.”
Catalans finished 10th in Super League this year and only avoided relegation by winning at Leigh Centurions in the million pound match.
Despite that, Myler reckons he is a better player now than before his stint in France.
“I think personally I had a good year last season,” he said.
“I enjoyed my rugby, as much as you can do when you’re losing.
“My game has come on and it has got to the point where I wanted to go to another level and I thought coming to Leeds has the best tools for me to achieve that.
“Being at Catalans helped my game because when I was at Warrington there was a lot of big players and I was a younger lad in that side.
“Catalans helped me go out of my comfort zone and learn to control a team a bit more
“It gets you out of your own environment and makes you grow up quick.”
Myler was one of two new faces at training yesterday, alongside ex-Warrington hooker Brad Dwyer.
Jack Walker is the only member of last month’s Grand Final-winning side among the initial group.
Others taking part in the first training session were Ashton Golding, Jordan Lilley, Josh Walters, Ash Handley, Jack Ormondroyd, Mikolaj Oledzki, Harry Newman, Cameron Smith and Josh Jordan Roberts.
“It was nice to have Brad here,” Myler said.
“We were at Warrington together and it’ll be good for his game too, he’ll add to the already good squad they’ve got.
“It’s already a well-oiled machine that’s working very well.
“It’s my job and Brad’s to come into the system they’ve got going and add our little bits and still be successful.”