Leeds Rhinos boss Rohan Smith has confirmed that new signing Lachlan Miller will be the club’s first choice full-back upon his arrival from the NRL.
The former Australia Olympics star has signed with the Super League club on a three-year contract from next season after being granted an early release from current club Newcastle Knights.
His arrival will see current number #1 Richie Myler moved back into the halves, with Blake Austin likely to have played his final game for the club and Aidan Sezer returning home at the end of the year.
Former NRL Grand Finalist and Huddersfield man Sezer, 32, will join Wests Tigers next season for the 2024 campaign, while out-of-contract Austin recently joined Castleford on loan for the remainder of the Super League season.
He has been linked with a move to promotion-hopefuls Featherstone Rovers, via Examiner Live.
Miller, 29, was Newcastle’s first-choice full-back at the start of the season. However, he was dropped to the reserve grade after Kalyn Ponga reverted back to his preferred position after a spell in the halves.
He has made 18 NRL appearances to date, including 11 in 2023, scoring five tries.
“We’ve done a lot of homework and research on Lachie as a player and a person. He’s a really well-regarded player at both NRL clubs that he’s been at,” Smith told media on Thursday.
“He’s a full-back that can play other positions. He’ll be coming here to play full-back primarily at this point in time.
“He’s a player that’s going to bring some attributes to that position that we don’t currently have.”
Richie Myler set to return to the halves
Ireland international Myler, 33, has made more than 300 career appearances which mainly came in the halves during stints with Widnes, Salford, Warrington and Catalans.
Since his arrival at Headingley Stadium ahead of 2018, he has been utilised in both the halves and at the back before given the number one shirt for 2023 following Jack Walker’s departure.
Myler is contracted with the Rhinos until the end of 2024, with Smith confirming that he is set to return to his original position.
“Richie has played a bunch at half-back in the time that I’ve been here and he’s played 300 games in the halves over his career,” Smith said.
“He’s got good versatility and he understands the situation and there will be opportunities for him to play in the halves next year and still play full-back and cover there. We still need depth in each position.
“Richie has shown that he can play that position. We have a good understanding of how we want to grow and build our attacking footy and he really understands that.”