NEW Leeds Rhinos signing Richie Myler can’t wait to start training with the champions after his “stressful” campaign at beleaguered Catalans Dragons.
It was announced back in June the ex-England scrum-half would join Leeds for 2018 on a three-year deal, but he has suffered a difficult time since.
While Rhinos were plotting their way to another Super League Grand Final, big-spending Catalans became embroiled in a relegation fight and only avoided relegation after the ordeal of the Million Pound Game at Leigh Centurions.
But Myler helped the French club – where had spent the last two seasons after leaving Warrington Wolves – to a crucial win and now he is looking forward to life at a club who finished at the other end of the table.
He said: “I am actually really looking forward to next year now. In the end it was a good way to finish (at Catalans) in the sense it was on a positive note.
“But it was a very long and stressful season so I was happy when it was over. I can look forward now. I’ll be starting training with Leeds in the next couple of weeks.
Getting that seven jersey is another proud moment. There’s only been a handful who have worn it in the Super League era so it is really special. Hopefully I can do it proud.Leeds Rhinos’ Richie Myler
“I’m chomping at the bit really. I hate training on my own. I’ve always been the same; I hate the off-season as I hate being on my own in the gym.
“It’s the most boring place in the world on your own so I can’t wait to get back in, get to know everyone and embrace it all.”
Myler, 27, watched from afar as Rhinos beat runaway League Leaders’ Shield winners Castleford Tigers to upset the odds and win an eighth Grand Final.
He admitted: “It was pretty immense. I think all the bookies had Cas favourites but you just knew Leeds could find a way to win and knew how to win.
“It’s been said by everyone but I do think it was very fitting for Rob Burrow and Danny McGuire getting the send-off they deserve. That was credit to them and to the team.”
He will, of course, now take on McGuire’s scrum-half role after the veteran captain ended his lifelong association with Rhinos by moving to Hull KR.
Furthermore, Myler also inherits Burrow’s No7 shirt in 2018 after McGuire’s fellow Leeds legend retired.
“Both have been immense in the Super League era and outstanding servants to the club,” said Myler, a try-scorer for Warrington in the 2012 Grand Final when they lost to Rhinos.
“Getting that seven jersey is another proud moment. There’s only been a handful who have worn it in the Super League era so it is really special. Hopefully I can do it proud.”
Myler is, indeed, only the fourth in the summer era to be awarded the number that squad number, following Burrow (2003-17), Ryan Sheridan (1997-02) and Graham Holroyd (1996).
Meanwhile, Leeds start their title defence at Warrington on February 1. Myler said: “I was there for six years so it’s a bit like home. They have a new coach (Steve Price) and a lot of changes have gone on at that place recently. They’ll be looking to right a lot of wrongs after this season (in the Qualifiers).
“They spent more money again, have brought more players in and they will be wanting to improve and get off to a good start.”