Leeds Rhinos veteran Richie Myler has this afternoon made a surprising switch to Championship outfit York, which has come out of the blue, with the back saying ‘the time felt right’ to move on.
Myler – who turned 33 in May – was set to enter the final year of his contract with the Rhinos in 2024 having been at Headingley for the last six seasons.
The stalwart missed a large chunk of games at the back end of the 2023 campaign having limped off in the first half of a defeat at St Helens in August with a foot injury.
With Leeds boss Rohan Smith confirming that new arrival Lachlan Miller – who joined ahead of 2024 having left NRL outfit Newcastle Knights – would be the club’s starting full-back next year, Myler was expected to make a move back into the halves.
Instead, he has opted to move on from Headingley, making the move across Yorkshire to the LNER Community Stadium on a one-year deal.
Leeds Rhinos ace Richie Myler makes surprise Championship switch ahead of 2024, joining York
Myler has previously played in the second tier for Salford Red Devils, then known as the Salford City Reds, though not for a long time has he dipped outside the top flight.
Despite that, he’s relishing a new challenge at an ambitious club, as he told York’s website: “I’m delighted really. It’s been one of those parts of the season I’ve just been looking forward to, as soon as I started speaking to Clint (Goodchild, Chairman) about the opportunity – coming to and working with York, and how exciting that was going to be.
“I jumped at the chance. I can see the vision that they’re trying to achieve here, the goal that they want to get to, I could see how I could play a good part in that, and I was really excited about coming in and ripping it with the boys, showing them what I’ve got.
“We’ve talked a lot about experience around the game, I’ve played a number of games at some big clubs, so I want to win – that’s the ambition of the club. That’s what I see that I can bring to the team – my experience.
“We’ve got a young squad full of a lot of talent that I can nurture and progress forward, bringing that professional environment I’ve been in for a long time. I’m looking forward to it.”
Myler: ‘The time felt right for a new challenge’
Widnes-born Myler began his career with his hometown club, appearing twice for the Vikings before moving on to Salford. Also starring for both Warrington Wolves and Catalans Dragons in Super League, the veteran has made 384 club career appearances.
That tally extends even further, just two off 400 overall, having played once for England Knights, 10 times at senior level for England and more recently three times in Ireland colours, featuring at last year’s World Cup for the Wolfhounds.
Having departed Leeds, he told the Rhinos’ website: “It has been a honour and privilege to wear the blue and amber shirt for the last six years and to be leaving as a Challenge Cup and Lance Todd winner; which was the proudest moment of my career.
“To all Leeds Rhinos fans; for the support and love you have shown me through my time at the club, I can not fully put into words my gratitude. In the times I’ve needed you, you’ve always delivered.
“Playing for you has been my pleasure and I hope I have re-paid that support in always giving you 100%. The time felt right for me and my family to have a new challenge, and I am delighted to be joining up with York to be part of their exciting future.”