Video - Impressive Richie Myler is rising to challenge, says Leeds Rhinos coach Richard Agar
LEEDS RHINOS coach Richard Agar says Richie Myler has “risen to the challenge” of losing his number seven jersey to Luke Gale.
Myler, who joined Leeds from Catalans Dragons ahead of the 2018 season, will wear No 16 next year.
Gale, signed for a fee from Castleford Tigers in October, started at scrum-half in Rhinos’ opening pre-season game, a 30-4 win over Wakefield Trinity on Boxing Day, but Myler impressed after coming on as a half-time substitute for stand-off Rob Lui.
Rhinos’ full-time squad also includes Scotland international Callum McLelland and Agar said competition in the halves is strong.
He stated: “If Luke and Rob do start as halves then we have plenty of depth with Richie and Callum.
“Richie has been a good player for a long time. When we spoke about bringing Luke into the club, we kept Richie abreast of everything.
“It might have been seen as a kick in the teeth, but we turned it round with Richie that this is a challenge for him and he has risen to that challenge in pre-season.”
Agar said Myler, who is entering the final season of his Leeds contract, has not been written off.
“He is training really, really well and is going to challenge for a spot in this team,” the coach insisted. “He is happy to take-up that challenge.
“It would have been the easiest thing in the world for him to take his bat and ball home and look for an exit out of the club, but he has put his head down and worked really hard. He is a very good, capable rugby league player.”
New signings Kruise Leeming (knee) and Alex Mellor (groin) could feature in Jamie Jones-Buchanan’s testimonial game at home to Bradford Bulls on Sunday, January 12, after missing the Wetherby Whaler Festive Challenge due to injuries suffered in training last Monday.
Agar admitted it was a “scary moment” when Leeming pulled up during a wrestling session, adding: “We were genuinely concerned he had picked up a fairly major injury, but tests revealed he had sprained, rather than torn, some ligaments. He’ll be good to go in a week or so and we didn’t want to risk Alex with a slight groin strain, it was safety-first with that.”