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Rugby League: Worst kept secret is out [Sep. 10th, 2009|12:58 pm]
Sports Shorts


Thank heavens, the official Worst Kept Secret in Rugby League is finally out in the open.

Richie Myler will be a Warrington player next season, something that will come as no surprise to anyone, except possibly Martin Offiah and Shaun McRae.

It was remarkable that, for last week's Boots'n'all, Sky managed to find, in Myler's agent and his Salford coach, the only two people in Britain who didn't know what was going to happen.

Even more remarkable that the pair of them should be paid to go into a studio and profess total ignorance of something that the proverbial dogs in the street knew all about.

No doubt both men were saying, or not saying, what they felt they had to. As a piece of journalism, however, it was a fiasco and an insult to the public. If you haven't seen it, get hold of a recording, because it's absolutely priceless.

The pressure now on Myler himself to perform is huge - or will be next season. The fee of £270,000 or thereabouts is a record for a teenager - almost twice what Wigan paid Wakefield for Nigel Wright in 1993.

Wright, of course, is now on the Warrington coaching staff, his playing career having been largely ruined by injury - a reminder of all the things that can go wrong.

There has been a good deal of disingenuousness in this whole affair, not least from Salford, at least some of whose movers and shakers were only too happy to get Myler flogged.

And it's a bit rich to describe him, as some have done, as a Salford product. He was only at the Willows thanks to their tomb-raiding when Widnes were in the mire two years ago - and I don't recall any £270,000 changing hands then.


Try as I might, I can't find anyone to make a convincing defence of the scandalous decision to put the Ashes up for grabs in a single match at the end of October.

Okay, it might have some marginal effect on the pre-game publicity, but the main reaction will be one of withering scorn.

The Ashes, in cricket or rugby, are awarded over a series. To hand them out for one game is an insult to all the players who have sweated blood to try and win them since 1970.

Will we feel we have regained them if we win that game - and possibly go on to lose to Australia later in the Four Nations? Will we hell.