Myler v Ulster

Q&A with Stephen Myler

In case you missed it in the official programme over the weekend, we sat down with Ospreys outside half Stephen Myler for a quick Q&A session.  

Stephen Myler
"If I can add something, whether it’s experience or guidance or how I operate around the place, I just want to help people take the next step."

Full Q&A

What are your goals with the Ospreys?

“To be as influential as I can be and to help the team to perform as well as it can. Obviously, last season was difficult in terms of results and performances weren’t what people expected. If I can play a small part in helping the team to do better and to keep improving through the season, that is my ultimate focus. What that entails and means, we will find out as we go through some games. As a team, a continually improvement is our focus. We have done that during the summer, with new coaches coming in and new principles being put in place. We want to play as well as we can, as soon as we can.”

You have played against sides coached by Toby Booth and played against Brock James, what impact and influence have they had at the Ospreys so far?

“It has been really good. I haven’t been coached by Toby before but I know him from the Premiership in England and my time in the same competition. I know he is very well respected in the Premiership and well regarded because of what he has done in the game. It has been good to work with him and with Brock James as well. I played against Brock a few times and he is having an influence in terms of our attack. We are getting a good blend of knowledge and of how we want to go about our business as a team. It has been good personally, because it’s another fresh environment and another view of how the game should be played.”

You have huge banks of experience with Northampton and you also played for England, what is it like when you see a backline of Rhys Webb, George North and young exciting talents like Owen Watkin?

“When the opportunity came up to join the Ospreys, you think of the names that have been around for a while in Wales, like Alun Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric and Rhys, and then players like George and Owen, but the wealth of talent in this region and in Wales, in general, is quite something. It has been really exciting for me to come here and be a part of it. If I can add something, whether it’s experience or guidance or how I operate around the place, I just want to help people take the next step. If I can just show them what they are capable of. I have seen lots of positive things in training; we just have to put them into games now. Personally, it’s just exciting to be part of a squad with those names.”

Since Toby Booth’s arrival there has been a real shift in mood and talk about the ‘New Ospreys”, have you felt any hangover from last season?

It just hasn’t been dwelled on since I have been here. We have new coaches and it’s just a given that future is the focus. Last season, obviously, wasn’t where people wanted to be but we have had quite a few months together now and we know we can improve, We know how we are looking to go forward and looking to play this season. It’s about looking forward to how we can work together as a squad and improve our performance rather than dwelling on something in the past because we can’t change that. We are looking to put in performances, week-in, week-out, showing what we are capable of. That’s exciting to me.

You are one of the elder statesmen in the rugby union now, how do you keep going in such a demanding sport?

“I am getting asked this question a lot. I know I am into the twilight years of my career at the moment, but the thing that has been good for me has been the new environment.  It’s about learning new things, new systems and new principals, and learning how my teammates are trying to play.  It’s about learning what their playing habits are and things like that. It keep’s me on my toes and makes sure I am paying attention and not slipping into a comfort zone. I had the same when I went to London Irish, two years ago, it gave me another lease of life. People ask me how long are you going to play? And I answer by saying I still feel physically good and mentally I feel like I have something to offer. If I felt I was on one leg and being wheeled out to play, I simply wouldn’t be playing this game.  You can’t be a passenger and I feel physically good.  The important thing is that mentally I want to put in the work every day, and I believe I still have something to offer on the field.”