Myler shrugs off talk about incoming Saints fly-half

Stephen Myler is no stranger to talk surrounding the No.10 position at Saints.

Wednesday, 8th March 2017, 2:28 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:40 am
Stephen Myler impressed against Sale last Friday (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

After all, it’s all he’s ever known since he arrived at the club from rugby league side Salford City Reds.

There has always seemed to be someone built up to bag his place in the squad.

From Shane Geraghty to Ryan Lamb, Myler has always had competition from men perceived to be flashier players.

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But he never buckled under the strain, always fighting for the right to start, and, so far, winning that battle.

Now in his 11th season at Saints, the 32-year-old has racked up 307 appearances, scoring 2,534 points, putting him second behind Paul Grayson in the club’s all-time points scorers’ list.

Myler, nicknamed the ‘Ice Man’ by his team-mates for his ability under pressure, remains as impressive a player now as he’s ever been, with his classy showing in last Friday’s 32-12 Aviva Premiership success at Sale Sharks showing that.

And amid the relentless rumour mill that resides at Franklin’s Gardens about who will replace Munster-bound JJ Hanrahan, Myler continues serenely on.

He isn’t bothered about who may or will be coming in next season.

Instead, he continues to excel in a bid to drive the team back to where they feel they belong: in the league’s top four.

“I’m not paid to talk about those kind of things (rumours), I’m not paid to make those decisions, I’m not paid to read about it,” Myler said.

“I’m paid to play and perform for Northampton Saints when I’m called upon, that will always be my focus.

“Whatever happens outside of that is someone else’s job and they deal with it appropriately.

“I know the club’s trying to strengthen in all positions, not just mine, and I know we need to strengthen for next season.”

Myler, man of the match in both the Aviva Premiership final win and Amlin Challenge Cup final victory in 2014, is ultra-reliable from the tee and displayed his skills in open play last Friday, too.

He played the intelligent final pass that set up Ethan Waller for Saints’ bonus-point try, capping a performance in which the fly-half had steered his team around the field superbly.

And Myler said: “It was really enjoyable.

“It’s a tough place to go and we’ve traditionally not done very well there, but we came with a bit of a plan and the forwards were exceptional with the platform they gave us.

“The backs played pretty smartly and although it took us until the last bit to get our fourth try, it was a really pleasing performance and a good win.

“We’d have taken any win at Sale because we hadn’t been good there in years gone by and we needed a win to get ourselves back up the league table.

“A bonus point was just that - it was a bonus, but it’s one we feel we deserved.

“We played really accurately and stuck together as a 23.

“There’s a really good feeling in the squad now.”

Myler has barely missed a kick in the past few weeks.

And he said: “I’ve been feeling like I’m doing okay off the tee. It’s just my job and I’ll do my best whenever I’m called upon.

“I love playing rugby and I love playing as many minutes as I can.”

So whoever Saints bring in for next season, they will certainly have a fight on their hands to make the 10 shirt their own.

Just ask the likes of Lamb and Geraghty.