The Garry Schofield Column: Richie Myler a top York Knights coup after ‘strange’ Leeds Rhinos exit

WHO saw Richie Myler’s move from Leeds to York coming?

It’s a great coup for the Championship club, but a strange decision by Leeds, and you have to wonder what has gone on behind the scenes to lead to it.

York’s coach Andrew Henderson suggested it was an unexpected development for the player to become available, and let’s not forget he was under contract until the end of next year.

I know Leeds have signed Lachie Miller from Newcastle Knights on a three-year deal, suggesting he will be their fullback of choice, even though he’s hardly a proven NRL player.

Richie had a tough start at Headingley after moving from Catalans six years ago, and there were times I was critical of him in this column.

It wasn’t entirely his fault, because he was tasked with being an organiser in the halves, and that’s not his game. He’s far better as a support player.

But he went on to reinvent himself as a fullback, winning the Lance Todd Trophy when Salford were beaten in the Challenge Cup final in 2020.

I’d rate him right up there among Leeds’ best players in every season since.

He’s got a good rugby brain, he’s reliable, and he’s consistent, with a seven or eight out of ten performance week in, week out.

He also offers valuable versatility, because he can comfortably slot in at stand-off or scrum-half if required, and I reckon he could even do a decent job at loose-forward.

That utility value alone makes Leeds’ decision to get rid hard to fathom, but what’s obvious is that York have got themselves a good player.

It’s another sign of their ambition, and I have to take my hat off to Clint Goodchild, who since following Jon Flatman as owner, has done a great job in developing the club in a sensible, structured and steady way.

While there’s a long history of Rugby League in York, the potential of the place has never been fully tapped.

With a good stadium, an ambitious owner and an experienced coach, who has now settled in, as reaching this year’s play-offs showed, things are looking positive.